These 3 tactics are helping schools tackle food insecurity

For many of the 20 million children qualifying for free-and-reduced lunches, school is the only place they get to eat. Research shows 60% of low-income students report going to school on an empty stomach, and it gets worse during the summer when many of them no longer have the school food safety net.The good news is that agencies, organizations and even lawmakers are taking big bites out of this problem through small, innovative steps. But oftentimes, it’s only a cost-effective matter of preserving leftover food or re-purposing unused resources. The food truck fad is booming on college and university campuses, and schools are also using these vehicles as rolling restaurants to reach more students in convenient ways. But in the summer, these trucks sit idle.At the University of Massachusetts, however, a Baby Berk food truck is being put to good use in its off months. In the summer, UMass uses Baby Berk to deliver between 2,000 to 3,000 meals five days a week to high-poverty sites in Amherst. The food is free to children under 18 years old.A state official originally approached UMass with the idea, and university officials embraced it.

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