When school closes for the holidays more than 220 students who are in temporary living situations or homeless in Livingston County will miss out on the free breakfasts and lunches they qualify for as students, to help bridge this gap in meals, the Livingston Educational Service Agency is holding a food drive for the students.
The LESA’s McKinney-Vento Grant Coordinator Candice Uyttendaele said that some food donations have been coming in, but they need more food or cash donations to help the students. In all there are likely more than 220 students who qualify for the meals because many of the school-age students have younger siblings, she said.
“On average we have around 500 children a year,” Uyttendaele said. “This year will surpass that quite a bit because our numbers are higher than that this year. It’s quite eye-opening.”
This number includes 22 preschool students, 108 elementary students, 34 middle school students, over 70 high school students, and 45 unaccompanied youth. Children who are counted include those who are in temporary living situations or homeless.
“Any time a student is placed out of the care of their parent or guardian or any time the family has to leave their home due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or any similar situation, they are considered homeless,” Uyttendaele said. “It is based completely on their residency; examples include, if they are living with family or friends, or if they are in a motel. If they are not in their own home and it is due to economic hardship they are counted.”
The LESA will collect nutritious food items for distribution to these students and families through Monday, December 16. Please drop off your donations in the front lobby of the LESA Education Center (located at 1425 W. Grand River Ave., Howell, MI 48843).
Suggested items include: