ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) During the academic year, kids lean on their teachers and school staff to provide meals. As the summer arrives, families began searching for ways to bring forth the same nutrition.

“Our staff at the food bank operates through a network of partner agencies that serve a variety of families,” said Randi Quackenbush, Director of Community Impact, Food Bank of The Southern Tier.

Having volunteers here on-site when feeding the youth in the summer months makes a big difference.

“It helps the kids giving back to the families that are so much in need right now. The school kids know that they have food on the weekends,” said Heather Markowski, Volunteer, Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

The summer food service program was created to help kids obtain a meal in the summer.

“One block might be eligible to have a site and, across the street, they may not be eligible based on their local statistics. So it’s not available everywhere. And Elmira. Historically there have been at least about a dozen sites open at parks in different locations in the summertime. A lot of those resources aren’t available in rural communities.” said Quackenbush.

Quackenbush shared that waivers are ending that was extended to schools during COVID-19. There will not be as many resources this year.

“We are encouraging our lawmakers to do everything they can because we had stepped up during the pandemic to ensure that everybody had the food needed,” said Quackenbush.

The resources that were once available are making it difficult for local food groups to feed neighbors and their kids.

“We’re anticipating this will be a tough summer and fall for us as the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. With all of these other programs ending, it’s going to combine to be this perfect storm of increased need around food,” said Quackenbush.

The schedule for places where kids can get meals is being finalized. The Southern Tier’s focus is to get the word out and to have community members share this information so that no kid goes hungry.