Skip to main content
Our Illinois 4-H Story

Summer meals matter

As we move forward into summer, some might be inclined to think that the issues of the world melt away with the cold. However, even when the sun and breeze make it seem impossible to worry about anything, many families have to worry about food insecurity. Many food insecure families rely on school lunches to feed their children. When school gets out, families may have to provide several additional meals each day. It is much harder to enjoy summer break when one is hungry. For this reason, it is vital that people continue food donations throughout the summer, and not get lulled into believing that food insecurity takes a summer vacation. When making donations in the summer, there are a few important facts to keep in mind. 

Refrigeration is not a guarantee. 

Families may or may not have reliable access to an electric refrigeration system. In the warmer months of the year, food spoils faster, as outside conditions don’t keep food cold. In the summer it is important to donate food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or chilled.

Food may have to be prepared by young people.

Most parents have to work during the summer break and many children may be in charge of preparing their own meals during the day. Meals that are simple and safe to prepare, such as Peanut Butter and Jelly, are recommended for this reason. 

Summer is supposed to be fun!

It is important to provide foods that are shelf-stable, easy to prepare, and nutritious, but that doesn’t mean that the food can’t be delicious.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Holmes is a sophomore in high school in Cook County. For the past eight of his sixteen years, Daniel has been a 4-H club member. In this time he has cycled through many different offices within his club, the Creative Clovers. Daniel is eager to work alongside his 4-H peers to fight food insecurity in the state of Illinois.