Last year, almost one in three school age children in the Salem and western Roanoke County School divisions were eligible for free or reduced breakfast and lunch. That’s good news for these children during the school year. But what happens on Saturday and Sunday or during the summer months when many may have very little to eat?
That's where our Summer Feed and Read program can make a difference! During the past 4 years, over $ 100,000 has been raised by the Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries to provide nutritious and wholesome breakfast and lunch items for at-risk elementary school age children in Salem and western Roanoke County.
During the 2019/2020 school year, SAEM was able to deliver over 16,000 meals to 145 families as well as personal hygiene packets, 600 age-appropriate books and 21 cases of school supplies.
We regularly receive words of thanks and praise for the feeding programs and the positive impact the support and assistance is having on the school children.
One principal stated, “The weekend snacks provided our children have been a God-send…our children can be assured that food/snack items will be in their backpacks for the weekend.”
Another principal responded, “Children’s needs have been taken care of, they are free to concentrate on academics and not hunger…our students are much healthier and happy due to your generosity.”
Still another said, “The ACT Snack Packs have been helpful to many of our families who are currently struggling due to loss of wages and unemployment. It is a comforting feeling knowing our students and families are supported by the community.”