Building Awareness of Food Scarcity for Kids: Hunger Doesn’t Vacation Cereal Drive (A PIC Project by Rachael Bruneau, Karishma Veeramoney, Kelsey Long, and Kelly Breitbuecher)

Thousands of children in Portland eat breakfast and lunch at school every day through the free and reduced lunch program. When summer vacation arrives, children no longer have those two meals a day they depend on to grow and thrive. With summer approaching, our PIC team decided that it was important to address the issue of childhood hunger even when kids aren’t in school.

Thankfully, we discovered Sunshine Division, a program within the Portland Police Department that leads food assistance programs. Each spring they prepare large food boxes for the summer break to send home with kids who depend on free and reduced lunch. This program, called “Hunger Doesn’t Vacation”, ensures that local kids don’t go hungry in the summer when they aren’t eating at school.

When we asked them how we could help, Sunshine Division let us know that one of their most requested items is cereal because it’s a convenient way to feed kids breakfast. So we decided to host a cereal drive at Portland State!

The cereal drive was a huge success. We did face some challenges, but in the end we raised 450 pounds of cereal! Our team learned a lot about the difficulties of collecting donations and the rewarding nature of working in community – check out our video to learn more about our process!


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