Feeding the Gulf Coast kicks off Summer Meals Program

The non-profit is picking up the slack to make sure all children are fed.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:28 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Summer break is in full swing. But during the months away from the classroom, students are still in need of meals. The non-profit Feeding the Gulf Coast Mississippi is picking up the slack, working to make sure all children are fed.

“We’re commemorating the start of the summer and making sure we acknowledge there are children out there in our community who don’t get enough nutrition,” said Feeding the Gulf Coast President/CEO Michael Ledger.

The non-profit celebrated the start of its Summer Meals Program Friday morning. This summer, more than 6,500 meals will be delivered on a weekly basis across South Mississippi.

“Just in Mississippi alone, in the southern part of Mississippi, there’s 100,000 people who are food insecure,” Ledger added. “25,000 of those are children. We know that children are one of the most vulnerable populations so when cafeterias are shut down during the summer, that’s 5-10 meals a week that they’re going to lose.”

The organization provides nutrition, working with several partners across the coast that are invested in the same mission. Ledger said COVID-19 coupled with inflation has made a huge impact.

”The cost of everything going up,” he remarked. “There are a lot of families who live in fixed-income situations. These children are impacted by that. The parents have to make a decision. Do we fill up the gas tank to go to work, pay the electric bill, we may have to cut back on food.”

Several hundred students attended the celebration at Point Cadet Plaza in Biloxi.

The City of Biloxi issued a proclamation at the event saying, ”Feeding children who are in need is important and must be addressed as a community.”

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