While low-income U.S. children are eligible for federally subsidized meals throughout the year, fewer than one in five receive them in the summertime, and special teams in Montgomery County, Md., and elsewhere are tasked with finding neighborhood children who are hungry and bringing them to school for a free meal. "It's staggering when we look at what really exists for kids at the margins during the summer," said Ron Fairchild, executive director of Johns Hopkins University's Center for Summer Learning, who views poor diet as a key driver in the "summer slide," in which children living in poverty tend to fall behind academically in between school years.

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