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ConAgra Foods Foundation Hunger-Free Summer initiative + Feeding America
For years I have given back in my community. Many of the issues that I support are tied to hunger. From serving on the Board of Directors at the Atlanta Community Food bank to making meals to deliver to families in need, hunger seems to be an issue that I support time and time again.
I have never really focused on childhood hunger until now. I am thrilled to be a part of this campaign with ConAgra Foods. ConAgra Foods has made fighting child hunger part of its culture. For 20 years, ConAgra Foods has focused on supporting organizations that bring innovative thinking and solutions to the table – ensuring these programs have the funding needed to thrive and provide nourishment to children in need.
Half of the ConAgra Foods Foundation’s $10 million commitment to Feeding America is dedicated to summer hunger support. Through “Hunger-Free Summer grants,” food banks throughout the country use funds to overcome barriers.
The program – now in its fourth year – has supported the delivery of more than 2.5 million meals and snacks to children struggling with hunger over the summer.
While 21.5 million kids rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year, when school is out, only 2.3 million children participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). For the millions of kids who fall within that gap, summer does not mean a few months of fun and relaxation. It means they may be at risk of hunger.
Children may not have access to summer meal assistance programs for a variety of reasons:
– Low Awareness: Families may not know about the programs that are available in their area
– Geographic Barriers: Children may not be able to get to summer meal programs because of
– Limited availability of summer meal programs: Whether a lack of awareness of the federal a lack of transportation or because they live in rural areas program, or a lack of resources to operate feeding programs (volunteers, feeding sites and partners), these seasonal programs aren’t available in certain communities
Children struggling with hunger can often lose focus in school and lack the power to learn. Even if their hunger is only temporary, its impact can last a lifetime.
Kids who miss breakfast and lunch are more likely to be sick, absent or tardy, disruptive in class and inattentive. They also score lower on achievement tests.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2013 FROM CONAGRA
To draw awareness of this critical issue, ConAgra Foods Foundation declared May 23 “National Hunger Free Summer Day” – a time to recognize summer hunger and to ask organizations and individuals to step up and help fill the gap for children in need.
This summer, 29 food banks in 20 states will use Hunger-Free Summer grants – ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 – to overcome barriers.
As a father of five, actor Chris O’Donnell is joining ConAgra Foods to bring awareness to this issue. Chris worked with ConAgra Foods to develop a video and a simple way for others to join in the fight against child hunger. For every view, a meal is donated.
HOW CAN YOU HELP? WATCH THE VIDEO:
GET SOCIAL WITH CONAGRA FOODS
Tweet with ConAgra Foods on Twitter and use the hashtag #HungerFreeSummer
This post is brought to you by ConAgra Foods and The Motherhood, and I've been compensated for my time. However, all opinions are my own.