During the school year, many families count on a school lunch (and maybe breakfast too) to feed their children. But in the summer time, that meal is no longer there, and that can put extra strain on families.

This summer, Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools is teaming up with local non-profits to provide free lunches to kids.

The program will run from June 13 to August 12 and aims to feed over 1,600 students.

Over 3,000 students in the CHCCS system are on free or reduced lunch.

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said this program is particularly needed this year because of the lack of summer school.

“There’s very little summer school going on, only for grades one through three this year and only for three weeks,” said Hemminger. “This is the longest summer we are going to probably ever have because of the state calendar and the way that it’s mandated, it’s a very long summer.”

The meals will be prepared at McDougle Middle School and be will distributed at 20 different sites in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

No Child Hungry NC, TABLE and Varsity Church of Chapel Hill will also assist with the program. In past years, these organizations have been providing meals to children over the summer. Hemminger said this program will be a collective effort.

“We are excited all of these groups are at the table working together, the state is there helping to figure it out because the funding is there to produce the food,” said Hemminger.

The program is in need of volunteers to help distribute meals throughout the summer. Most volunteers are needed between 11 am and 1 pm.

“We have wonderful community members here who make good things happen and just pulling everyone together to make things happen is the goal,” said Hemminger.

For more information or to volunteer visit foodforthesummer.org