Ashley Nessler checks off a community member picking up brown bag lunches for kids provided by the Sitka School District in March after schools closed because of COVID-19. The USDA Summer Food Service Program aims to fill the meal gap for Sitka’s youth until school resumes in late August. (Berett Wilber, KCAW)

Food insecurity among students is a concern during a normal summer. But this summer, because of economic hardship brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, that concern is even greater. The USDA Summer Food Service Program has existed for some time to help fill that gap, but this is the first time it’s operating in Southeast Alaska. KCAW’s Morning Host Erin Fulton spoke with Sitka Conservation Society’s Katie Riley and Kids Kupboard’s Melissa Koenig about how the Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Tribe, Youth Advocates and Kids Kupboard are working together to bring the program to Sitka’s youth.

Downloadable Audio

The program will operate through Aug. 25. Free breakfast and lunch are provided for anyone under the age of 18. Meals for the entire week can be picked up 8:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Fridays in the STA parking lot. No registration is necessary, and delivery is also available. For more information about pick-up or to sign up for delivery, email or call 623-8309.