CHICAGO, May 31, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 18 million children will lose access to school lunch and breakfast programs when class lets out for summer break1. This is why Feeding America®, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, and Conagra Brands Foundation have partnered to provide more meals to kids when they need them most. To address summer hunger, the Conagra Brands Foundation has awarded 25 Feeding America member food banks with Hunger-Free Summer grants totaling $700,000.
"Proper nutrition is critical to a child's development, yet millions of children in the U.S. do not have reliable access to meals. This issue is more prevalent during the summer, when school is not in session," said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. "We are thankful to Conagra Brands Foundation for its generous and ongoing support of the Feeding America network. Working together, we will be able to help more families in local communities by ensuring that more children have access to healthy meals."
During the school year, 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. When school is out during the summer, less than four million children receive meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program1. This dramatic decline during the summer is due to a lack of access to meal sites, insufficient program awareness and limited resources.
For the eighth consecutive summer, Conagra Brands Foundation has supported more than 20 communities across the country to strengthen their summer feeding programs, which has been a visionary partner of Feeding America and the fight against hunger for over 20 years. Feeding America summer feeding program models include the BackPack Program, School Pantry Program, Kids Cafe and more. Since 1998, Conagra Brands has donated the equivalent of 350 million meals and $45 million in funding to the fight against hunger.
"Children should not have to worry about where they'll find their next meal. But this is the case for millions of children across the country during the summer months. Conagra Brands Foundation is proud to partner with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks to address and reduce the significant issue of food insecurity across the country," says Robert Rizzo, Conagra Brands Foundation.
To learn more about summer hunger or find a summer feeding site in your community, visit www.feedingamerica.org.
For more information, please contact:
Mamie Moore – Director of Communication, Feeding America
About Conagra Brands Foundation's Hunger-Free Summer Grants
This summer, 25 Feeding America food banks in 15 states will receive Hunger-Free Summer grants, funded by the Conagra Brands Foundation and distributed by Feeding America, to start new or expand existing summer feeding programs. These grants totaling $700,000––ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 each––will allow the food banks to serve food in school libraries during the summer months, provide meals to kindergarteners at summer camp, deliver boxes of food to families in need and beyond.
About Conagra Brands Foundation
Conagra Brands Foundation believes everyone has a right to healthy and nutritious food knowing that food insecurity exists in every U.S. county. The Foundation partners with exceptional national and local nonprofits with high-impact programs located in the communities where we live and work. By focusing our efforts within five areas: Direct Food Access, Cooking Skills, Nutrition Education, Healthy and Active Lifestyles and Urban Agriculture, we are able to be a leader in the fight against food insecurity in North America.
Conagra Brands Foundation partners with Feeding America and its network of 200 food banks across the U.S. Together they increase access to innovative programs such as Hunger-Free Summer and improve capacity at local food banks. For more information, please visit http://www.conagrabrands.com/our-company/corporate-social-responsibility/conagra-brands-foundation.
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the Unites States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.
1 2016 U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food & Nutrition Service
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SOURCE Feeding America