AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
- Nearly 300,000 children in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties currently qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, yet many still do not access this resource
- Only about 17 percent of kids who qualify participate in the free 'Meet Up and Eat Up' summer meals program
The FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC, today announced a $500,000 grant to United Way for Southeastern Michigan. The grant will help United Way implement two primary strategies to ensure that more children have access to and participate in child nutrition programs throughout the school year and during the summer.
First, the FCA Foundation grant will enable United Way to provide partner organizations (community groups and schools) with the funds and technical assistance needed to run and expand Meet Up and Eat Up summer meals programs. Additionally, the grant will support United Way's efforts to implement robust community engagement, marketing and canvassing strategies to ensure that children and families, school administrators and the public know about both the Meet Up and Eat Up summer program and the School Breakfast Program available each school day.
"FCA US cares deeply about our communities and respects United Way for the work they do. In no uncertain terms, United Way is committed to improving lives," said Brian Harlow, Head of Manufacturing, North America and FCA US United Way Co-Chair. "By focusing on key areas including education, economic prosperity and health, United Way works to connect corporations, non-profits and government agencies to tackle problems as a team, therefore, amplifying what no singular organization could do alone."
Raising awareness about the free food programs remains a priority to United Way. During the school year, nearly 300,000 children in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties qualify for either free or reduced-price meals. Yet, of those eligible children, only about 17 percent participate in the free summer meals program Meet Up and Eat Up. In response, FCA US sponsored five United Way block parties this summer to increase awareness and attendance of the Meet Up and Eat Up program.
"We are grateful for strategic partners like FCA US for helping us support families throughout the tri-county," said Tanya Heidelberg Yopp, interim CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. "With partnerships that reach more than 700 sites, this significant grant will help further our efforts for greater impact so that children continue to have access to this valuable free, meals program each summer."
According to data from the Michigan Department of Education, the total number of summer meals served in 2016 in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties was 1,210,049.
All donations to United Way this year count toward its overarching 2016-18 Annual Community Giving goal of $100 million, set by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, who also serves as United Way Campaign Chair.
About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through volunteerism, advocacy and its annual campaign. United Way is a leader in convening partners to achieve positive outcomes around Health, Education, and Economic Prosperity. For more information, visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.
About the FCA Foundation
The FCA Foundation is the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC, a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. The FCA Foundation invests in U.S. charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, build strong, resilient communities and generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts. In support of these objectives, the FCA Foundation focuses on the following foundational pillars: youth development, education, support for veterans and their families, and community service.
SOURCE FCA US LLC