I'll admit that I'm probably the first one to grumble about how expensive school lunches are getting. During the school year I feel like I'm constantly feeding money into my kids' lunch accounts to keep those annoying low balance reminders at bay. But on the flip side, I find it just as hard to keep the cupboards stocked with healthy and nutritious snacks and meals during the summer. What can I say -- my kids can EAT!

I have to say that I'm really grateful that my kids have never known true hunger, though. We've been through some pretty lean times, but we've always managed to put food on our table -- something I know so many struggle with each day. Many of the millions of children who rely on free or reduced cost school meals simply go without over the summer. I can only imagine how their parents must feel...

Thankfully there are organizations that offer assistance to these families in need, and now they have more of the resources to help even more families thanks to the Walmart Foundation's new summer-long initiative that includes $15 million in grants that will benefit the following six nonprofit organizations:

These organizations will use the funding to provide everything from nutrition education to meals and snacks for 1.4 million children and families in more than 1,500 communities.

Eat Healthy Together Challenge

Also part of the initiative is the Walmart Eat Healthy Together Challenge, a program designed to encourage ALL families to prepare and eat healthy meals together throughout the summer.

You can join in by simply committing to eat three nutritious meals together as a family at least three times a week this summer from June 30 – August 4, 2014. Track and share your progress on Twitter with the following steps for a chance to win a $25 Walmart gift card!

  1. Follow @WalmartHealthy on Twitter.
  2. Post photos or updates on Twitter of your family eating healthy meals together, and include hashtags #EatHealthyTogether #Contest.
  3. Check out @WalmartHealthy each Monday for the announcement of the winning Challenge Tweet of the week; each winner will be awarded a $25 Walmart gift card.

The challenge will run from Monday, June 30, 2014 through Monday, August 4, 2014. Entries need to be received by 10:00 a.m. ET on Mondays to be considered for the contest each week. Click here for more details and rules.

Whether we're penny-pinching at the moment or not, I think we can all appreciate good recipes for budget-friendly meals and snacks. So I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from the archives:

Honey Lime Chicken

This honey lime chicken uses a marinade with just five simple ingredients to take ordinary chicken breasts from blah to wow! Pair it with this coconut milk rice (with or without cilantro and lime) for a delicious meal that won't break the bank.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

These yummy no bake peanut butter bars can be endlessly customized, so you can have a different variety every time you no bake them! Start with pantry staples like peanut butter, oatmeal and honey, and mix in dried fruits, nuts, etc. -- whatever you have on hand.

What are your favorite budget-friendly meals and snacks?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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Easiest Ever No Bake Ice Cream Cake Recipe

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So there was that time that my husband decided he'd like to host a 4th of July cookout, and what started as a guest list of about 25 friends and family quickly spiraled to upwards of 50 people... Yeah, that time would be today, and to say we're in crisis mode is an understatement. Luckily […]

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Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Brown Sugar Syrup

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July is the time of year when stone fruits of all varieties start showing up in stores in abundance. Fresh peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries -- so many choices! Usually I'm up to my ears in peaches from our backyard peach tree by now, but sadly, the frigid spring and late frosts left us with maybe […]

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Watermelon Salsa | A Fresh Take On An Old Favorite

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Ripe, red watermelon just screams summer to me! Every year I look forward to to those ultra juicy, fresh melon slices... My kids love a good rind-on wedge -- sooooo messy, but SO worth it! Of course you can always remove the rind and slice it so that you can eat it in a more […]

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Coca-Cola Baked Chicken Wings

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To say that my husband loves wings would be an understatement. If we're dining out, nine times out of ten, he orders wings with his meal. So when I was flipping through a cookbook at Walmart recently and ran across a recipe for baked chicken wings made with Coca-Cola, I knew I had to put […]

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Easy Bruschetta Recipe #InAFlash | Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven Giveaway

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While there are days when I truly enjoy spending a good amount of time in the kitchen preparing a meal, on most days it's more about what I can get on the table quickly before we're off to practice or whatever else is on the evening agenda. During the summer months, this means that the […]

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Quick and Easy Bruschetta Recipe

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The simplest recipes are most often the best, in my opinion, and it just doesn't get much simpler than this quick and easy bruschetta recipe -- if you can even call it a recipe. To make this yummy bruschetta, all you need is a fresh, crusty French baguette (I picked one up at the Walmart […]

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