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Where you can find food for kids during summer break

As food costs continue to rise, there are options in your community to help feed children.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — For some kids, school is the only place to find a nutritious and reliable meal. Feeding America estimates almost half a million kids in North Carolina are facing hunger.

As summer break starts some parents will struggle to put food on the table for their kids. Free school breakfast and lunches took a few meals off the parents’ grocery lists. 

RELATED: Iredell-Statesville Schools considers raising school lunch price

Summer camps like those with the YMCA will aid in relieving this issue. 

The YMCA has a record number of people signed up this year. 

"Families are wanting that experience for their children," Amanda Little, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte Youth Development Director of Out of School Time programs, said. "They're wanting them to experience swim lessons, they're wanting them to experience outdoor activities, physical activity, activity, and socialization with their peers." 

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On top of fun and lasting memories, many day camps provide breakfast and lunch to kids.

Many of the camps offer scholarships to parents who can’t afford registration costs. 

One such camp is the McColl Center’s summer arts camp.

"It's really for students that may not have the financial means or traditional opportunities to be immersed into art and creativity in this way," Quintel Gwinn, the McColl Center Program Director, said. 

If your child is in summer classes at their school, they can likely find a meal there. 

In addition to their summer programs, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are working on getting free meals to community sites at places like the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and Parks and Recreation sites. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has a summer food program. If you type your zip code into the USDA's summer meal site finder you can find meals near your home. 

Since this time last year, the price of food has gone up almost 11% according to the Department of Labor.

As food costs continue to rise, there are options in your community to help feed children.

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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