Part 2: Feeding kids through summer partnerships

Hunger does not take the summer off! Children and working families are even more at risk of food insecurity during the summer. In addition to fighting hunger year-round with programs such Mobile Markets, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has several tactics for meeting the summer need. We’ll share them with you during this 4-part summer series:

  1. Summer hunger heats up
  2. Feeding kids through partnerships
  3. ‘Cooking Matters for Kids’ teaches healthy habits
  4. “Mobile Tastiness Machine” Food Truck feeds kids where they live

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is all about partnership. We know the problem of summer hunger is too large for us to fight all by ourselves. That is why we work collaboratively with partner agencies to help serve children who are participating in their summer activity programs.

"It's hard to reach school children in need during the summer,” says Julie Cox, Food Shuttle’s Child Hunger Programs Manager. “We're thankful for these partnership mean that summer isn't a time of hunger for the children involved."

East Durham Children’s Initiative

EDCI summer meals
EDCI summer meals

We work with East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) to provide the meals for the EDCI Summer Lunch Program. From June through August our production kitchen will serve 5,000 hot lunches to EDCI children. That’s 125 hot meals each day, five days a week, over the course of 8 weeks. In addition to the hot lunches, IFFS provides breakfast bags containing five days’ worth of oatmeal packets, instant grits, and other breakfast items, for kids to eat at home before they get to EDCI for the day. Enrolled children will be kept active at EDCI with classes and workshops built around science, technology, engineering and math. Being well fed will allow the EDCI kids to get the most out of their engaged learning all summer long!

Food Shuttle meals at Read and Feed
Food Shuttle meals at Read and Feed

Read and Feed

Read and Feed is another organization that fully understands that kids can’t focus and learn when they are hungry. The Wake County program enlists tutors who work with students on improving literacy skills, building self esteem, and creating lasting confidence. IFFS provides dinners to Read and Feed participants at four different sites, three nights each week for seven weeks during the summer. You might wonder where all these meals come from. The answer? Students in our Culinary Job Training Program (and a few grads we’ve hired as culinary interns) grow their cooking skills while doing something positive for the community.

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Summer BackPack Buddies

EDCI BackPacks
EDCI BackPacks

Just because it is summer doesn’t mean that BackPack Buddies is on vacation! Corporate partner Farragut Systems, and nonprofit partner PORCH-Durham work with us to make sure that 315 Durham kids from EDCI, Parkwood Elementary, and Fayetteville Street Elementary continue to get BackPack Buddies weekend meals during the summer. With six meals in every BackPack, we will provide over 11,000 summer meals through BackPacks alone! (And that’s without considering the two healthy snacks that are also included in each weekend BackPack.)

Full Pantries

Finally, Food Shuttle is stocking pantries at Brogden Middle School and the Durham Teen Center this summer. No matter what time of year, pantries provide a place for older kids and families to access a variety of foods for use in their own homes. There is more choice – and often more fresh produce – available via pantries than BackPack Buddies.

Thank goodness we have such an amazing group of partners helping us extend the reach of our programs to more communities, more families, and more children than we ever could on our own. With their help, we’re making summer vacation more enjoyable for hundreds of NC kids.

Thanks to the support of IFFS donors, hundreds of children receive healthy food in the summer. Please give today to ensure these important programs remain available.


By Sally Bache, IFFS Administrative Services Manager. Contact: