WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The last day of school is always an exciting moment for kids, but for many children and parents, the summer months can be especially hard.
“The way the job situation is, a lot of people are working and they still need help,” Wichita Falls Area Food Bank Child Hunger Director Jim McMahan said.
One of the biggest things families need help with in the summer is food. Children are home more than they typically are and in dire need of nutritionally balanced meals. Meals that the Wichita Area Area Food Bank is working hard to provide.
“In the summertime, we have a summer feeding program at some of the clubs. The Boys and Girls Clubs, the Southside Youth Center, and what we do during the school year, they get an after-school meal, but in the summertime they get a lunch provided,” McMahan said.
The children don’t need to be members of the club. All they have to do is have a parent call and say they would like a meal and snack bags, something the Food Bank does to simply try and keep more kids fed, and while they are doing that, other organizations are tackling another tough issue – child neglect over summer break.
“Here at Child Advocates, we are a volunteer ran program, and what we do is our volunteers, they advocate for children and their best interest in court,” CASA of Red River Executive Director James Bodling said.
It can be hard to have an extra set of eyes on kids during the summer so sometimes mistreatment can go overlooked.
“If they are afraid of someone that is usually a sign or unexplained injuries that could always be a sign as well,” Bodling said.
He adds that parents should take advantage of the several Summer camps and activities in town to keep kids busy.
“That way it keeps them active, keeps them socially around other children, and like you said keeps an extra set of eyes on them”.
If you want to be a part of the groups that are working hard to keep children safe, both of these organizations could always use some volunteers.
“For one they get to visit with the children and that’s the most fun part that they get to do because they get to spend time with the children and children love to spend time with our volunteers,” Bodling said.
The time can be life-changing for these kids. You can find more information on CASA by clicking here. You can find more information on the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, here.