Filling the Summer Food Gap One Family At A Time
At Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) we believe that every family deserves access to good food. And that access shouldn’t be dependent on the season. Yet we know that in the summer, millions of children lose access to meals they typically get at school, and family food budgets are stretched thin. That’s what’s called the summer food gap — and it can have devastating, long-term consequences for children.
This year’s summer food gap could be even worse. The temporary SNAP benefit increases that Congress enacted to address food insecurity and provide economic stimulus during the pandemic ended as of March 1, 2023 in 32 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands. According to the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), on average, SNAP participants are receiving about $82 less a month, with some families facing even larger cuts. These cuts, coupled with rising food prices and record-high inflation, mean good food is that much harder to access for families already struggling.
One way PHA is helping to fill the summer food gap is through our Good Food for All produce box program which provides families facing barriers to access with 50 servings of fresh and high quality fruits and vegetables for 12 weeks. Since the program launched in May 2020, Good Food for All has been to 29 cities, providing more than 22 million servings of vegetables and fruits to families across the US in places like Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Denver.
“Between the cabbage, sweet potatoes, blueberries, blackberries, and cucumbers, the colors in the box were just magnificent,” said Ellen, a Good Food for All participant in St. Louis, Missouri. “The program helped me add color back to my plate!”
Not only is Good Food for All providing healthy food to participants in the short-term, it’s creating a long lasting impact. Following participation in the program, 58% of participants increased vegetable consumption, 51% increased fruit consumption, and over 85% said they were willing to pay for a box of produce.
“I notice when I eat fruits and vegetables I have more clarity. I sleep better. I have less health problems. I’m more active,” said Perla, a participant from Lincoln, Nebraska. “When you put the good stuff in, you start noticing that your motivation is higher, even things like the colors. Everything starts looking better.”
PHA is committed to continuing and expanding its Good Food for All program to more cities, with a focus on the communities that need it most, when they need it most.
To learn more about how you can help PHA end summer hunger, visit our summer hunger campaign landing page. Together, we can ensure that families across the country thrive, not just survive.