Food insecurity initiative feeds 849 children through June

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Wichita, KAN. The City of Wichita is working this summer to fill the stomachs of nearly 30,000 children who are considered to be food insecure.

At his Thursday briefing, Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell said 22 percent of all local children live in a food insecure household.

The City of Wichita Housing and Community Services Department was awarded a $40,000 grant from the National League of Cities to set up free meals across town for the remainder of the summer.

According to Longwell 21,000 children qualify for free meals but have no access to the food.

Donald Durham, a Wichita teen interning for Ways to Work, said his department is sponsoring a summer meal site at New Life Church, 1156 N. Oliver Ave. The church has served nearly 900 meals since June 19. It operates Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m.

The grant provided by the National League of Cities incentivizes the City to expand its participation in such programs.

Kansas Appleseed and Kansas Food Bank have provided materials and education, while the Kansas Department of Education and USD 259 have administered the meals and coordinated sites.

Wichita Transit was awarded a Community Service Block Grant in order to provide free transportation using its' "Say Yes" program.