KN2E to host new summer reading program for kids

After providing free summer meals for kids for nine years, Kids Need To Eat (KN2E) has phased out its popular Kidz Summer LunchBox program. 

The LunchBox 2020 was its most ambitious and successful program. During a period of 13 weeks, over 9000 meals and 1000 weekend foodpacks were handed out at LunchBox meal sites. 

This was only possible due to generous community support in the form of cash and in-kind donations, and volunteers. Particularly successful was its Teen Cash Stipend Program, providing a hybrid volunteer/stipend work experience that for many youth was their first “job”. 

KN2E is a small nonprofit with no paid staff. It was founded in 2013 to focus on helping children to have a developmentally productive summer in terms of nutrition and enrichment activities. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are now ways that larger nonprofits – such as a school district, hospital, or city parks department – are in a better position to sponsor free summer meals. 

As a result, KN2E’s Board of Directors downsized its involvement in providing summer meals. Instead, it will sponsor a summer reading program for children: Ready 2 Read! Summer Reading Fun for Kids Ages 4 – 9.

The focus of Ready to Read! (R2R) is on helping children who struggle to read at grade level, or at risk of having delayed reading skills. 

Parents/caretakers are encouraged to register children during May. For details, like and follow Ready 2 Read - R2R  on Facebook, or follow this website.  

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KN2E Annual Meeting is open to the public.

  • What: KN2E Annual Meeting / Board Meeting
  • When: Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
  • Where: Online using Zoom (email if you plan to participate – you will receive the Zoom details before the meeting)
  • Agenda: Election of officers, annual reports, financial reports, and 2021 planning
  • Who: KN2E Board Members. Also open to the public.
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KN2E Board Meeting set for Sept. 22, 2020

If you might be interested in becoming a member of the KN2E Board of Directors, you are welcome to attend our next Board meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 4:30 – 6:00 pm. For details, contact Board president Judie Storandt by cell or text: 405-308-9158.

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New Meal Sites added to Kidz LunchBox in August

Kidz LunchBox has added two additional meal sites during August. All six meal sites during August are listed below. One is open until 1:30 pm.

Every meal site offers free meals for all children ages 1 – 18. This is a summer nutrition program for all children & youth – without regard for need.

All meal sites offer Grab & Go Curbside Pickup. Parents and other caretakers do not need to have children in their car to pick up meals, except for their first visit. Curbside Pickup cards are offered to display on your dashboard to indicate how many children you may get lunches for without all of them being in your car.

Diapers are available in sizes 1 – 6 at the Quail Ridge site – and at other meal sites on request.

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COVID-19 threatens school meals

1 big thing: Virus threatens food programs

Axios PM, July 17, 2020

Featured image

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Kids will already suffer this fall if they can’t return to classrooms, and for millions of them it also threatens their access to nutritious food.

Why it matters: School is not just a place for learning; it’s also a place where children get fed. Millions of children who don’t go to school on any given day risk going hungry at home,Axios’ Felix Salmon reports.

The big picture: 13.9 million children are suffering from food insecurity, up from 2.5 million in 2018 and 5.1 million at the height of the Great Recession in 2008, according to Lauren Bauer of the Hamilton Project, who used data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“About 3 in 10 Black households with children and 1 in 4 Hispanic households with children did not have sufficient food due to a lack of resources in June,” she writes

Between the lines: School districts rushed to create temporary food solutions for kids when they closed this spring.

But many of those districts now face budget crunches and other issues — and kids are bound to fall through the cracks.

Among the broad consequences in terms of academic performance, food-insecure children are more likely to have to repeat a grade and have lower test scores than their food-secure counterparts.

A Canadian study found that “child hunger is a significant and independent predictor of youth dropping out of high school, even when multiple effects within the poverty pathway are considered.”

The bottom line: The effects of childhood hunger last beyond graduation and well into the workforce.

What’s next: Former VP Joe Biden called on President Trump and Congress to pass a $30 billion emergency package for public schools.

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Kidz Summer LunchBox 2020 continues thru August 7.

By Deanna Bonn/Times-Gazette Posted Jul 2, 2020 at 1:45 PM

The Glow Bus dining room may be empty, but meals are still being served this summer through the Kids Need to Eat program. Kids Need To Eat, Inc. (KN2E) is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit with no paid staff.

KN2E was founded in 2013 to address the problem of many families being unable to provide nutritionally for their children in the summer when school is out and they don’t have access to meals at school.

This is the fourth year Mark Somerville has been the driver for Kids Need To Eat GLOW Bus. The GLOW Bus [Green Lunchroom on Wheels] takes free meals to Kidz LunchBox meal sites. In addition to free food, the LunchBox offers a range of enrichment activities to help kids have a developmentally productive summer.

Kids Need To Eat, Inc. is a summer lunchbox program for area children ages 1-18 Volunteer and Site Leader at First Methodist Church, Liberty Peterson said, this is her first year to volunteer with the organization and meal service began on June 1st.

Meals continue to be served Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through August 7th, with meal sites located at Blackmore Elementary, El Dorado High School, Skelly Elementary and First Methodist Church from 11:30 a.m. to 1 o.m. and at the Quail Ridge Apartments from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.


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Free Summer Meals for Kids 2020

All children ages 1 – 18 are invited to pick up free meals now through August 7, 2020.

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Summer Job Opportunities for Teens



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Summer internships for college undergrads pay $5400

Kids Need 2 Eat is excited to announce two Youth Ambassador internships this summer at its Kidz Summer LunchBox program.

These positions pay $5400 for working full time (36 hours a week) for ten weeks, June 1 – August 7.

Applicants need to be enrolled in a post-secondary college program, but don’t need to be full time students. Eligible applicants include  seniors graduating from H.S who have been accepted to start college classes in August or September.

To learn more about Kids Need 2 Eat and its Kidz Summer LunchBox program:

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KN2E Celebrates 8 Years of Feeding Children!

Eight years ago on Feb. 17, 2013, Kids Need 2 Eat was launched by Peter and Judie Storandt, Shelley Shipman, and Sarah Johnston, MD, as a Kansas nonprofit. Subsequently the IRS granted it 501(c)(3) status.

KN2E is best known for its Kidz Summer LunchBox program, which provides free meals for children during the summer – to replace meals many eat for free at school.

Our GLOW Bus [Green Lunchroom on Wheels] takes free meals to Kidz LunchBox meal sites. In addition to free food, the LunchBox offers a range of enrichment activities to help kids have a developmentally productive summer – so help them return to school more ready to learn.

The GLOW Bus takes free meals to where children live and play.

Donations are needed for Kidz LunchBox 2020. Please help celebrate its anniversary by making a donation. Here’s some ways you may consider helping.

  • $20 buys four (4 @$5/each) weekend foodpacks filled with meals for kids to take home on Fridays. $100 covers the cost of 20 weekend foodpacks.
  • $25 buys a box of diapers to be given away to parents who bring kids to eat who wear diapers. We anticipate needing at least 4 boxes in difference sizes.
  • $50 helps pay for enrichment activities ranging from Play Dough and other crafts to outdoor activities such as jump ropes, hula hoops, Frisbees, etc.
  • $65 covers the cost for a week of free lunches for parents, foster parents, and other caretakers to eat lunch with the children they bring to eat at a LunchBox meal site.
  • $75 pays for one-week of diesel fuel for the GLOW Bus. $400 keeps fuel in the BUS for the whole summer.
  • $80 pays for a 50-punch pool pass – so kids can swim for free after eating lunch with us on the GLOW Bus Forest Park / the local swimming pool. We anticipate needing at least four of them.
  • $70 helps covers for one day the stipends paid to youth who volunteer in connection at the LunchBox through our Teen Cash Stipend Program. For most of therm, this is their first job, and an opportunity to practice important workplace skills.
  • $345 supports a whole week of teen stipends. (@ $3.00/hour).
  • $100 buys extra foods (soups, cereal, fresh produce, snack bars, etc.) for kids to take home after eating lunch on the GLOW Bus.

Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps.

Thank you for helping to celebrate our 8th anniversary of feeding our future!

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