Thanks to the support of our community partners, Solid Ground was able to provide nearly 4,000 summer meals for children and young people living in our residential housing this past summer. The youngest residents of Solid Ground’s Sand Point Housing and Broadview Shelter and Transitional Housing received culturally relevant and nutritious meals throughout the day, ensuring that their healthy development wasn’t disrupted by food insecurity.
Across the country, summer break can be a difficult time for families with low incomes whose children lose access to free and reduced-price lunches when schools are closed. During the school year, many of these households rely on school meals to support children’s healthy growth and development.
That’s why our Sand Point and Broadview Children’s Programs work every summer to bridge this hazardous nutrition gap. In addition to free, pre-made meals provided by the City of Seattle, we received funding from United Way of King County and the Albertsons & Safeway Foundation to offer warm, nutritious food to kids and teenagers living in Solid Ground housing.
Summer eating at Sand Point
Located in Northeast Seattle, Sand Point Housing is home to more than 180 children from families that have experienced homelessness. This past summer, we served 963 summer meals to young residents there, including breakfast and snack items from the City of Seattle, complemented by lunches prepared by Sand Point staff and supported through our partners at United Way of King County.
Through this combination of city-provided, pre-made meals and the hot meals made by staff, we provided three meals a day – effectively removing barriers to food security. Staff prepared hot lunches like burritos, sandwiches, pizza, and hot dogs with cheese, fruit, and yogurt to balance out the meals.
Meals were packaged so children could take them home, providing nutritional support to their whole families – and when appropriate, staff encouraged children’s participation in cooking lunch. A Seattle chef also led a cooking class with Sand Point kids and teenagers.
“With the funding from United Way of King County, we were able to cook meals for the youth this summer and engage the youth in a cooking project with local chef Edouardo Jordan,” says Oliver Alexander-Adams, Sand Point Family & Children’s Program Manager. “Hot fresh meals brought a larger crowd, and kids liked the food more.”
Homemade meals at Broadview
Broadview is home to more than 250 children and their families seeking safety and stability after experiences with domestic violence and homelessness. This summer, Broadview served 2,990 culturally relevant summer meals prepared by Broadview staff with grants from the United Way of King County and the Albertsons & Safeway Foundation.
“We had less waste this summer making our own lunches, which seemed to be popular with more families.” ~Amy H., Broadview Children’s Services Supervisor
We were also able to involve Broadview youth in the preparation of some meals, offering an opportunity for connection between youth as well as our dedicated Children’s Program staff. Preparing meals in-house allowed Broadview to provide food preferred by youth residents, including smoothies, banana chocolate chip muffins, pesto, homemade salsa, and other dishes cooked with ingredients from Broadview’s small garden as well as personal gardens of our staff.
“We were successful at engaging Broadview’s children in making meals, especially breakfasts, utilizing afternoon programming time once a week to bake muffins, granola, or make strata for the following morning,” says Amy H., Children’s Services Supervisor at Broadview. “We had less waste this summer making our own lunches, which seemed to be popular with more families. Most meals were fairly stable and kept well through the following day, if there were more meals made than eaten the previous day.”
Providing healthy food for Sand Point and Broadview youth relies on a vast network of support including our staff and volunteers, the City of Seattle, and private partners. Together we provided a robust summer meals program that connected kids, provided learning opportunities, and ensured children returned to school well-fed and ready to learn.
Thank you to all of the funders that support our work and mission through grants. Last quarter, the following funders contributed to Solid Ground’s community impact:
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