School lunch and breakfast programs have taken a big hit during the pandemic.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Lansing Public Schools served 1.2 million meals this year. During the 2018-2019 school year, 2.6 million meals were served to students.

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Other large school districts in Michigan have also experienced this. Detroit Public Schools Community District's numbers were drastically different. Last year, 9.6 million meals were served compared to 2.2 million meals this year. Grand Rapids has served 863,169 meals this year and 2.8 last year.

Does this mean fewer hungry kids?

Unfortunately, this doesn't mean there are less kids going to bed hungry at night. According to No Kid Hungry and the USDA, more than 11 million children live in a "food insecure" home. Meaning, there is no guarantee that every individual in that household gets to eat.

Because kids have been participating in online schooling for a majority of the year, some families have taken advantage of other food programs such as food pantries or local food banks.

How can you help?

President of the Michigan School Nutrition Association, Diane Golzynski, told the Detroit Free Press that even if your child isn't currently attending in-person classes, picking up meals from your local school district can help in many ways.

Our biggest message is: Take the meals. Go find your local school district and take the meals because it not only helps that food service program stay viable, but it helps all those workers keep their jobs.

For more information and ways to help, visit the Detroit Free Press' website.

Did you know that some Lansing area businesses helped pay off student lunch debt?

At the beginning of the year, local area businesses like Saddleback BBQ, Speer Electric, and the Okemos law firm Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, helped pay off several Lansing school's lunch debt.

You can read the full story here.

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