RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- According to the federally funded Summer Meals program, nearly 1 in every 5 kids in North Carolina lives in a food-insecure household.
The findings come as both traditional and year-round children are out of school on summer break.
Thanks to Summer Meals, kids under the age of 18 can receive free meals throughout the week.
Organizers say sites will offer up to two meals in a combination of breakfast and a snack, breakfast and lunch, or snack and a lunch.
"(Kids) get to see that people care about them," said Wake County Commissioner Shinica Thomas. "Not just the kids -- the families, the parents -- get to see that people care and are concerned with what's happening in our community and are offering them solutions and engage with other programs and just have a good time."
Wednesday, kids at PlayWell Park in Raleigh adjacent to the Poe Center for Health Education were able to receive a free lunch and a snack, along with a produce box full of fruits and vegetables.
"I just received a flyer (from) an activity that we came to a month ago and they say just come by," said Wake County parent Joan Ballista. She brought along her two sons, who were able to enjoy the arts and crafts, activities, and free meals. "This is amazing...We need this."
Summer Meals is partnering with locations across the state to offer this program through the summer.
PlayWell Park and the Poe Center will offer the program every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Other sites around the state will be available at various times and dates.
To find out the hours and locations of the sites nearest to you, visit Wake.gov/SummerFood.