On June 1, Kids’ Meals kicks off our annual Hunger Free Summer initiative to provide hundreds of thousands of nutritious meals to children in underserved communities. Presented by McDonald’s Houston, the summer-long program will raise funds and awareness for Kids’ Meals’ mission to combat food insecurity for preschool-aged children. During the summer months, the program expands to include siblings without access to free school meal programs. This summer, Kids’ Meals expects to provide more than 400,000 meals to area children. Since 2006, the organization has delivered more than 5.5 million meals to poverty-stricken children.

Through August 31, Houstonians are encouraged to donate to Kids’ Meals or participate in the organization’s annual Summer Juice Box Challenge. Companies and community members are invited to host drives and challenge one another to donate 100% juice boxes to help Kids’ Meals reach its goal of providing a juice box with every meal they deliver. Juice boxes can be dropped off at Kids’ Meals (330 Garden Oaks Blvd.) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Kids’ Meals is so thankful to partner with McDonald’s Houston to impact the lives of impoverished children in our community,” said Beth Harp, Executive Director of Kids’ Meals. “This is our busiest time of year, and support from local McDonald’s owner/operators means that we can provide more than 400,000 meals this summer to children who may otherwise go hungry.”

“This cause hits close to home for me as a parent and as a local business person,” said Carla Moore, president of the Greater Houston McDonald’s owner/operators. “It’s unacceptable that one out of four preschoolers in our community faces food insecurity. We’re grateful for organizations like Kids’ Meals who are helping to bridge the gap for these families and are humbled to have this wonderful opportunity to support them.”

Preschool-aged children who don’t have access to school-based free meal programs often fall through the gap of social services addressing food insecurity, and Harris County has the second highest rate of child food insecurity in the nation. To address this need, Kids’ Meals delivers 3,100 healthy meals a day to children ages 5 and under. The organization delivers meals Monday through Friday in 40 zip codes across Houston where the need is most critical. Kids’ Meals nearly doubles its capacity in June, July and August to serve every child in the home, up to age 18. To donate to Kids’ Meals, click here. To learn more about volunteering or sign up for a shift, visit kidsmealsinc.org/volunteer.