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West Virginia’s Department of Education has been in overdrive for almost a year trying to figure out how to both educate and otherwise care for the kids who fall under the public schools’ umbrella.

Among its highest and most important ongoing priorities was to figure out how to keep feeding all those kids in the middle of a pandemic.

As school systems have mainly returned to in-person learning this semester, the feeding challenge is lessened.

But don’t let the return to the classroom fool you, as the problem will rear its head again.

In only a few short months, summer will be upon us.

The need will intensify, as it does at the end of every school year.

Last year, the department had 785 sites throughout the state providing summer meals to kids.

It is time to begin planning how the state will meet that need this year, but that cannot happen without help from county boards of education, local government agencies and nonprofit groups to join them as partners in the federal Summer Food Service Program.

“Supporting summer feeding sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer,” said state schools Superintendent Clayton Burch.

He’s absolutely right, and we urge local groups and organizations to get involved.

So, folks, if you are part of an organization that could lend a hand this year, put together a plan and contact the state Office of Child Nutrition at 304-558-3396.

Every partner organization provides a little more insurance that West Virginia kids won’t go hungry this summer; and might get an even brighter start to next school year.

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