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Summer break means more empty bellies

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Despite this little reprieve we’ve been granted with our strangely cool weather of late, summer will be here before we know it. School will be out before we know it. And those TV commercials depicting mothers gleefully skipping through stores filling their carts with colorful back-to-school supplies and sharp new school clothes will be here before we know it.

Despite what those commercials would have us believe, plenty of us parents look forward to summer break. We look forward to spending more time with our children. We look forward to our children getting a break from all the stresses of school. We look forward to a suspension of all the rules and routines.

But for some parents, summer break means something entirely different. It means an added bill for daycare. It means coming up with extra meals their children would have otherwise received at school.

And plenty of them just can’t afford all those added expenses.

They rely on food banks. But unfortunately, donations taper off in the summer months just as the demand rises.

For that reason, the West Valley View launched an annual summer food drive 12 years ago. We partner with businesses all over the West Valley throughout the month of May to serve as donation drop-off points. See the ad on Page 17 to find a location near you. And when it’s all said and done, the donations get delivered to local food banks, keeping everything right here in the West Valley.

While food banks need all manner of nonperishables to fill their depleted shelves, they especially need kid-friendly nonperishables this time of year. Peanut butter, cereal, granola bars, individual fruit cups and apple sauce. Things like that. Things older children can prepare for themselves while their parents are at work.

Let’s all give what we can, and remember that while we’re enjoying a late-night barbecue on a weekday (no dinner time, no bed time, yippee!), plenty of West Valley families are going to bed hungry.

They don’t have the luxury of looking forward to a break from the routine. They depend on the routine.

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