New rules make summer food program more accessible than ever before

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DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A group in the Triangle is making sure children don't go hungry this summer.

"For every family and child that comes through, it's our goal to make sure they leave knowing they're loved, knowing if they have a need they can always come to us for that," said Tarkisha Poole a volunteer with Grace Church of Durham.

For the twelfth year in a row, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is partnering with churches like Grace Church, community groups, and schools to make sure no child is hungry this summer.

"Every year we want to make sure kids who are out of school and maybe can't access those free and reduced meals are able to go to a program," said Jennifer Caslin, Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Because of the pandemic, federal waivers allow parents to pick up the food--they can even pick up multiple meals at time throughout the week--and kids no longer have to stay and eat the meal at the site.

"So it's really easy and more accessible for all the families and kids to be able to access this program this year," Caslin said.

Since this summer program began in 2009, the Food Bank has helped provide 1.7 million meals to 55,000 kids and Poole says she's proud to be a part of it.

"I feel like a part of my life is just engulfed into making sure that I'm serving and giving back to others," Poole said.

The kids summer meal program runs until August 21 when kids go back to school. For a full list of sites click here.
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