ATLANTA, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arby's Foundation, the charitable arm of Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. (ARG), and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign announced the launch of School's Out, Food's In, the nation's largest partnership investment around childhood hunger during the summer. Over the course of four years, the Arby's Foundation will invest an unprecedented $4 million in innovative strategies and programs with Share Our Strength to solve the problems children face over the vulnerable summer months.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), while more than 21 million school children in America receive free or reduced-price school lunches during the school year, just over 3 million of those kids receive a free summer meal when school is out. That equates to six out of seven low-income kids who eat a free or reduced-price lunch during the academic year not receiving a free meal during the summer.
"Arby's is committed to supporting youth causes, particularly ending childhood hunger," said Paul Brown, CEO of Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. "We partner with the No Kid Hungry campaign to provide access to free summer meals. Children should enjoy their summer vacations and not have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. Arby's is stepping up to make summer better for the families who otherwise may not have access to a meal."
"Hunger doesn't take a break when school is out," said Billy Shore, Founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. "The Arby's Foundation's investment in our work will make a transformative impact on out-of-school time hunger and will help us and our partners across the country connect children to 24 million additional meals by the end of 2015."
School's Out, Food's In will add a deep layer to the involvement Arby's has in ending childhood hunger, as the announcement comes in conjunction with the kick-off for the Arby's Foundation's Hungry For Happiness mobile tour. The Hungry For Happiness mobile tour kicks off April 29 and will stop in 25 states across the country this summer to raise awareness around childhood hunger in America and increase enrollment in summer meals programs.
School's Out, Food's In will start with an innovative pilot program in Atlanta on May 16, typically the last day of school and the last day children can count on receiving a guaranteed meal before summer hits. Atlanta Public School children will receive an Arby's punch card to redeem for ten free Arby's kids meals during the summer. The punch card will also encourage families to participate in the leading-edge summer meals texting program with No Kid Hungry, which connects people to local summer meal sites through their phone.
Arby's is the largest quick service restaurant chain to partner in a nationwide effort with Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, which is dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America, and has raised more than $9 million for its mission since 2011. Arby's and the Arby's Foundation have generated significant national awareness of the childhood hunger movement by leveraging its restaurants and digital and social media properties in the fight to end childhood hunger in America.
About the Arby's Foundation, Inc.
The Arby's Foundation, whose mission is to end childhood hunger in America, is the charitable arm of Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. Building on a philanthropic heritage that has contributed more than $57 million to child-related causes since its inception in 1986, the Arby's Foundation has launched a bold new movement to educate, mobilize and empower Americans with the knowledge and resources needed to ensure food security for every single child. With more than 16.7 million U.S. children—more than 1 in 5—facing hunger daily, the Arby's Foundation has devoted its resources to providing education and access to wholesome food choices for children across the country. The Arby's Foundation is a registered 501 (c) (3) organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. To learn more, visit www.arbysfoundation.org.
About Arby's Restaurant Group
Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. is a leading international quick-service restaurant company operating and franchising nearly 3,400 restaurants worldwide. Arby's was the first nationally franchised, coast-to-coast sandwich chain and has been serving fresh, craveable meals since it opened its doors in 1964. The Arby's brand strives to inspire smiles through delicious experiences. We are on a never-ending quest for the perfect sandwich, starting with the Classic Roast Beef and French Dip to the deli-style Market Fresh® line of sandwiches and salads. Visit Arbys.com for more information and to connect with Arby's on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram and other social media channels.
About Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign
No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry® campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals through Cooking Matters. This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, public officials, nonprofits, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.
SOURCE Arby's Foundation