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Can I Donate My Car to Feed Hungry Kids?

In the summer months, many kids who rely on school lunches go hungry. How can you help?

Each year, the final bell rings at elementary schools across the nation, signaling the start of summer break. While many kids are ready to celebrate another year in the books, millions know they will face hunger. For children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals, summer means little access to nutritious food. Summer means stretched budgets and empty bellies.

In fact, six out of seven low-income kids who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch during the academic year do not get a free meal during the summer

In addition to hunger, parents who work face the added stress of providing safe and affordable places for kids to socialize, play and continue to learn outside of school.

How can you help? Learn how to volunteer your time, or click donate my car now to make a lasting impact. 

Hungry kids by the numbers

More than 31 million American children participate in the National School Lunch Program. But, according to No Kid Hungry, only 1 in 7 low-income students who eat free or reduced-price lunch at school during the year participate in summer meals programs. That means that 14.7 million students who rely on those meals during the school year don’t have access to them when school is out. The current system for providing summer meals only serves about one fifteenth as many kids as rely on school-funded food during the academic year.

And when those nutritional needs aren’t met, kids pay the consequences. Not only do they face the daily ache of hunger, but their cognitive and physical development are directly, and sometimes drastically, affected.

The effects of hunger on children

Homeless children go hungry twice as often as non-homeless children and are twice as likely to repeat a grade. That’s because as kids' brains mature, the ones who don't get enough food fall further behind their better-fed peers.

NPR reports that even with school meals, food stamps and food banks, some kids simply aren't getting enough to eat. A recent national survey found that more than half of teachers have used their own money to buy food for hungry students because “they know hunger increases the chances of academic failure, which can push people toward unemployment or even crime.”

How you can help

If you’d like to make an impact in the lives of local kids, volunteer at the Volunteers of America of Great Ohio Youth Education Center

The Youth Education Center offers a safe place for children to go after school and during the summer. The program also invests in students’ academic progress, social growth and development.

Services include: career exploration; homework help and tutoring; art education; programs that encourage children to explore their emotions and improve communication; computer skills; and nutritious meals and education. Every child in our program is either currently homeless or has been homeless in the recent past.

Donate your car to Volunteers of America to support our Youth Education Center. Our services and programs are funded entirely by donations from neighbors like you. When you donate your vehicle, whether it’s a truck, tractor, RV or boat, you’re helping kids stay full and stay in school. Just fill out our online car donation form, call (800) 862-6030 to donate over the phone or bring the clear title to 5640 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43228. We can also schedule free, same-day pickup.

Help us achieve our vision of a world where all children have a home and feel safe and secure.