Nearly 21,000 low-income Idaho children received meals through summer feeding programs on an average day in the summer of 2012, according to a recent national report.
The Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force says summer meals only reached 20 children for every 100 low-income children who got regular school meals during the school year.
The good news: Idaho's rate was better than the national rate, which reached only one in seven low-income children, according to "Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation," an annual report by the Food Research and Action Center.
Hunger experts say summer nutrition is a big deal - children are at increased risk of obesity during the summer if they're left without healthy food options. Low participation also means fewer federal dollars coming to Idaho to support the programs.
Area agencies are working to get the word out about summer food programs across the Valley for kids.
In Idaho, families can find nearby summer meal sites online (find a link through this column at IdahoStatesman.com) or by calling the Idaho CareLine at 211 or (800) 926-2588.
GROUP WELCOMES VETERANS WHO WRITE
A local group offers veterans the chance to write about their military and life's experiences in an atmosphere of supportive peers.
All ages and backgrounds are welcome. Contact Ruth Salter at email@example.com or 426-7057 for information, including dates and the location of the group's summer sessions.
START READING: HUMAN RIGHTS BOOK CLUB ANNOUNCES LINEUP
This book club focuses on human rights stories in literature. Meetings take place on Thursday nights once a month at the Idaho Black History Museum, 508 E. Julia Davis Drive, Boise.
The events are free except for the cost of the books, which are available at Rediscovered Bookshop, 180 N. 8th St. Ten percent of the cover price goes to the Idaho Human Rights Education Center.
Here's what's coming up:
Thursday, July 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.: "The Boys of Boise" by John Gerassi.
For more information about the Human Rights Book Club, call the Idaho Human Rights Education Center at 345-0304 or Megan Justice, event coordinator, at the Rediscovered Bookshop: 376-4229.
YOUNG IDAHOANS GET NATIONAL HONORS FOR VOLUNTEERISM
Idaho's top two youth volunteers of 2013, Abigail Blue, 18, of Meridian and Katie Skarpnes, 12, of Caldwell, traveled to Washington D.C, recently to be honored at the 18th annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Abigail and Katie were among a group of 100 young people who each received $1,000, and a four-day trip to Washington D.C.
Here's what they did to receive recognition:
Abigail, a senior at Mountain View High School, worked through a number of organizations to promote understanding and acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and to provide support to LGBT youth. She helped organize a Gay-Straight Alliance at her school and volunteered at Planned Parenthood.
Katie, a seventh-grader at Vallivue Middle School, has been a volunteer at her school, dance studio, church and 4-H club.
She took on a leadership role in her church's vacation Bible school and helped recruit other volunteers for her causes.
BOISE JOINS ALS NATIONAL CORNTOSS CHALLENGE
What's a corntoss?
Kind of like a beanbag toss, only better, considering it's a fundraiser to help find a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
The local event will be Saturday, June 22, on the lawn of the Mallard Building, 1161 W. River St. in Boise.
Registration begins at 11 a.m. Play starts at noon. Entry fee is $20 for a team of two players.
Find more online, link through this column at IdahoStatesman.com.
KUDOS TO GIRL SCOUTS
The Girl Scout Cookie season ended in May. The Silver Sage Council is busy donating excess inventory to area churches, schools and nonprofit organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Ada County and of Nampa, Ronald McDonald House, Interfaith Sanctuary, Life's Kitchen, and The Arc.
The Idaho Foodbank and American Red Cross will receive 250 cases and 200 cases respectively. The Girl Scouts of Silver Sage also partnered with the American Red Cross during the spring cookie season to offer "Cookies from the Heart."
Through the program, Girl Scout cookie buyers can donate cookies they purchase to the American Red Cross of Boise and Treasure Valley. These donations benefit disaster victims, military members and their families, blood donors, and domestic disaster relief efforts.
CORRECTION: CREATE COMMON GOOD
Create Common Good, the organization that trains refugees and others for the workforce, is located at 2513 S. Federal Way.
The group is no longer located at the First Methodist Church. Information in the June 11 column was incorrect.
Anna Webb: 377-6431