At this time of year, most of us are focused on the possibilities and opportunities that come with fall: a new school year, brisker air, and the desire to dive into new efforts. For the families we serve at Loudoun Hunger Relief (formerly Loudoun Interfaith Relief), fall is never quite that simple. Thanks to our wonderful donors and volunteers, and thanks to summer packs from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, our client families with school age children have been receiving extra food all summer long. The extra food helps make up for the loss of breakfasts and lunches that children may have been receiving at school. It eases the stress on families, and helps kids stay healthy so that they are ready to go back to school in the fall.

At Loudoun Hunger Relief, we also help make sure kids stay fed during the school year. As families come in to get groceries, we have an outreach effort that helps get children signed up for the free and reduced price meal program in our public schools. Many families don’t know how to navigate the necessary application. We are here to get them the help they need to make sure their children eat. The application is available in English and Spanish, and is fast, secure, safe, private and available 24/7 at http://lcps.heartlandapps.com. Families can even apply from a smartphone.

We’re so glad to have helped so many children have enough to eat all summer. We hope you’ll help us get the word out about getting children signed up for free and reduced school meals. Let’s all have a great fall!

Loudoun Hunger Relief is the leader in food assistance in Loudoun County. Since 1991, LHR has served the most vulnerable among us. Last year, we distributed 1.2 million pounds of food. Learn more at www.loudounhunger.org.