DETROIT -

When the school year ends, it means one less guaranteed meal for almost half of Detroit's children.  But nurses at DMC Children's Hospital are working to provide local kids with a consistent daily meal over the summer recess.

The Fourth Annual Cereal Drive is lead by the DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council Friday through June 7.

In Southeast Michigan, more than 300,000 free or reduced fee, breakfasts and lunches are served daily during the school year.

"As one of the best Children's hospitals in the country, we do not just treat sick or injured children, we are also in the business of keeping them healthy," said Herman B. Gray, M.D., president of DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan. "Our nurses and staff really embrace this drive that highlights the important connection between nutrition and healthy kids."

Donations of cereal will be collected at the following locations May 31 - June 7, 2013 starting at 8 a.m. Closing times vary by location.

Check: List of cereal drop off locations.

Driving directions and phone numbers for the drop off locations can be found at www.childrensdmc.org.

Studies show one in every four American children lives in a food insecure household where breakfast is not guaranteed. For some Detroit area children that number is one in two, making the hunger gap more serious in Southeast Michigan.
 
The Cereal Drive began in June 2010 and has grown every year. Last year, Gleaners Community Food Bank needed four semi-trucks to transport the donations collected during the drive to their distribution center. 

"The Metro-Detroit communities really come together and use this opportunity to directly make a contribution and a difference in their neighborhoods. This effort really transcends city boundaries and is one problem with serious health consequences that we can make a huge dent in as a community," said Wendi Tague, DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council Chair.

DeWayne Wells, president of Gleaners said, "The DMC Children's Hospital Cereal Drive has become an important source of nutritious breakfast food for children and families served by the food bank. Cereal is always in high demand, and that demand increases when school lets out and school breakfast and lunch programs end. The cereal provided by this drive will help us alleviate the strain parents feel when they try to make up for those meals for their kids."

The Cereal Drive is part of a national effort, started by the DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan, to end childhood hunger. Ten other large children's hospitals across the United States are hosting drives in their cities during the same time frame. Cereal is a popular food item that experts say can easily address the hunger gap.