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Making Ends Meet: Some Families Struggling With Rising Food Costs

Posted at 10:21 AM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 10:21:01-04

LANSING, Mich. — Every day, making ends meet is getting harder for more and more people. Soaring prices at the grocery store, are only making things worse. Chris Conte shows us the challenges some school districts are facing as they try to help families struggling to put food on the table.

In the age of social distancing Jay Townsend is finding a way to get close to people, even when he’s six feet apart.

Jay’s is the first face families see when they come to get a free meal outside this middle school in Portland, Maine.

His face is covered but his message is clear.

Just talk to them like regularly people, "I’m not here to judge I’m here to help."

Since the start of the outbreak Portland Public Schools have handed out more than 50,000 free meals, a critical service for families facing food insecurity, every little bit counts.

Shaia Lancalotea and her two boys walk here almost every day. Without these meals, Shaia doesn’t know how she’d afford her grocery bill. Accepting help though wasn’t easy at first.

It’s a pride thing, it’s hard to accept and make yourself vulnerable, it’s hard to do that as a human being.

Coast-to-coast, meal pickup sites, are only getting busier. It’s about community, it’s about lending a hand

Jane Mclucas is the Food Service Director for this this picturesque coastal town -- where the economy has come to halt.

Nearly 78 percent of students qualified for free or reduced lunch and that was before the pandemic. The need is getting greater and greater, more people are feeling the pinch and as more parents are finding themselves out of work, schools districts across the country are only seeing the demand for food increase. Instead of planning summer vacation, they’re planning how to feed kids for the fall

It’s not gonna stop, we’re gonna keep going and feed these kids through the summer and there’s this. Officials are realizing some families don’t have access to transportation. So they’re expanding food pickup sites … and they’re considering home delivery because no one can learn when they’re hungry.

As for Jay Towsend he’ll be here every day as long as families need him it’s one less thing to worry about that’s not hanging over their heads. Because making ends meet right now, means relying on those willing to lend a hand.

And to make sure kids are fed through the summer, the USDA announces new measure today. School disctricts nationwide can now continue to have flexibility on how they offer free and reduced meals. Those nationwide waivers have been extended through August 31st.

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