Some children in Chattanooga struggle to get food. The YMCA teamed up with the USDA’s summer food service program to help.

Since 2010, the YMCA has operated seven sites where children who qualify for free and reduced lunch at school can be sure of getting a midday meal after schools recess for the summer.

That first year, only 6 percent of the 22,000 qualifying children participated in the programs. But in the past four years, participation increased to more than 36 percent of the children, and the Y opened more than 60 feeding sites. Some also offer breakfast. The latest feeding site, Cedar Hill Head Start off Rossville Boulevard, opens today.

“It was like a weight lifted off our shoulders,” said Cantus Griffin about the Y’s summer feeding program.

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