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Bad weather keeping students away from summer food programs
Record rainfall has an impact on programs to combat hunger

Amy Hansen
The Ohio Association of Foodbanks says bad weather can deter kids from going to summer food programs.
Courtesy of Ohio Association of Foodbanks
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Record rainfall earlier this summer didn't just mean lush backyards and water-logged basements. For Ohio Public Radio, Amy Hansen reports, the weather also had an effect on the state's summer food programs for students.
LISTEN: Rainy weather can keep kids away from summer food programs

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Roughly one in every ten of Ohio’s students receive a nutritional meal from a summer food service program. In many of the state’s urban areas, those kids might jump on a bike or walk to one of the 1,500 food sites statewide.  But when it’s raining, that option of heading outdoors isn’t too appealing, says the Ohio Association of Foodbanks’ Joree Novotny.

"Many of the sites are provided in local areas like parks, in low income housing complexes that tend to serve the meals outside on picnic tables or under tents for the kids, and the rain really created a big issue there this summer, one that we are not as familiar with because it was really unseasonable."


Each site uses its own discretion to either cancel or just see lower attendance numbers on rainy days.  And while those overall summer attendance numbers won’t be available for several more months, the association typically sees its turnout dwindle in August, as families get ready for the beginning of a new school year. 

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