Summertime brings to mind warm days, fun barbecues and good times with friends and families. But for some families, summertime can be a time when it's harder to make ends meet. That's because kids who normally get a lunch or breakfast at school lose access to those meals when class lets out for summer break.
In a survey conducted by the No Kid Hungry campaign, most low-income families (62 percent) report spending more on food during the summer months with an average increase of $300 more per month. There is a solution: Summer meals programs help families save money and stretch their food budgets.
There are safe sites across the community for kids to go to get free summer meals paid for by the USDA. Many summer meals sites offer fun learning and recreational activities, so kids can eat a healthy meal while staying active.
There is a summer meals site at Faith United Baptist Church, 1800 Mulberry St. Contact Cheryl McGary, 423-362-1297.
Also, families can go to NoKidHungry.org/SummerMeals or call 866-3HUNGRY or text FOOD to 877-877 to find a site near them.
I am grateful that area residents have alternatives to the deluge of right-wing exhorting which gluts the airways on WGOW AM and FM. The Cumulus Media network has generously supplied listeners with the knee-jerk conservative talking points, and I am sick of it.
The Times opinion page in its editorials and columns gives insights and counterbalance to the lockstep views of mainstream conservatism.
And, of course, cartoonist Clay Bennett provides messages which are profound and indicative of genius.
Even the Free Press editorials have bravely railed against government waste, cronyism and homophobia.
Finally, I praise the WGOW local talking heads who refuse to parrot their network employer's clichés and rhetoric.
In my 95 years I have read many wonderful human-interest stories but none better than Mark Kennedy's "Puppy Love Gets Tested" on June 2 - not because of the love of a boy for his first puppy - but because it shows us our ever-growing love for the wonderful life we are given.
Thank you, Mark Kennedy.
MAYNARD W. DONAHUE, Valley Head, Ala.