Thousands of kids in East Tennessee are at risk of hunger when school is out for the summer.
Due to the economic strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk for many children could be even greater.
Second Harvest of East Tennessee is stepping in to help fill the gap.
The Summer Food for Kids program is a partnership between Second Harvest, public schools and communities in 18 counties.
The program provides children with food on a weekly basis throughout the summer and they are helping more people than ever.
Since March, demand has increased by 50 percent.
The non-profit is also preparing for the upcoming school year and the changes it will bring.
More than 5,000 students participate in the summer program.
The average cost per child to provide healthy meals during the summer is $25.