WINDSOR, ONT. -- Some Windsor children will be getting healthy snacks, fruits and vegetables thanks to a new program launching next week.

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County is launching the Summer Eats for Kids program to provide kids and families living in low income with nutritious food during the summer months when school nutrition programs are closed.

“One in three food bank users in Windsor-Essex are children, and there are many kids whose families run out of food,” says Lorraine Goddard, United Way CEO. “Summer Eats for Kids is another way for us to help families right now, and to ensure kids get easy access to nutritious food.”

United Way officials say the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of many school nutrition programs, making this year particularly challenging for parents who may struggle to feed their families.

The summer is also vulnerable time for kids who rely on school meal programs.

The Summer Eats for Kids program will provide a week’s worth of healthy snacks, fruits and vegetables in six locations in West Windsor, Downtown Windsor and Leamington using a drive-thru pick-up model in the parking lots of empty schools.

Summer Eats for Kids will operate from June 30 to Aug. 27, 2020.

Families with children are welcome to pick up a box of food once a week on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. James Catholic Elementary, Catholic Central High School and St. Louis Catholic Elementary, or Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at West Gate Public School, Dougall Ave. Public School and Leamington District Secondary School.

Registration will take place on location. All staff and volunteers will be taking the appropriate safety measures for COVID-19.

Summer Eats for Kids is sponsored by FCA Canada.

“FCA Canada is pleased to support United Way’s Summer Eats program and all of their community efforts to end childhood hunger,” says Dave Buckingham, president and CEO of FCA Canada. “Now more than ever, it is important that we work together to support vulnerable kids and their families in this time of need.”

Individuals or companies looking to get involved can make a corporate donation, host a workplace fundraiser, or make a one-time individual or family pledge of $2,500 through our Hero for a Day program.

A donation of $2,500 will provide 100 families living in low-income with a week’s worth of nutritious food.