WOODBURY, N.Y., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The got breakfast?® Foundation recently awarded the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County in Irvine, California, one of eight Silent Hero grants. The grants were available to public schools, non-profit private schools, local governments, youth sports programs or 501c(3) non-profit organizations that participate in the federal Summer Nutrition Program. Second Harvest's Summer Food Program provides meals five days a week to over 3,000 children through 35 sites.
"The major challenge Second Harvest is facing this summer is the increased number of children living in poverty. Currently, in Orange County 43% of our public school children rely on the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program as a steady source of food security and nutrition," explains grant recipient Joe Schoeningh, Director. The $5,000 award will be used to help pilot Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County's Missing Meals program.
Missing Meals is designed to compensate for the operational limitations of Summer Food sites and ensure children are able to start the day with a healthy breakfast.
"Some of the Summer Food Program sites are not able to open before 10:00 a.m. and therefore do not qualify for a reimbursable breakfast," says Schoeningh . "The Missing Meals program addresses this issue by sending Good Morning Gear kits home in a backpack with the child that has nutritious breakfast items for the week."
"We were impressed by the creativity and thoroughness of the research that went into developing the Missing Meals program," says Sonya Kaster, R.D., L.D.N., S.N.S., Grant Administrator for the Silent Hero Program.
Once summer starts and the school breakfasts and lunches have stopped, millions more low-income children go hungry each day. According to the 2008-2009 report Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation, issued by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), of the 17 million low income children participating in school lunch, only three million were reached in the 2008 summer feeding program. The federal Summer Nutrition Programs are designed to fill the need of hungry children when schools are on vacation.
The Foundation received hundreds of applications from across the U.S. The winning entrants demonstrated need, creativity and practicality of implementing their summer feeding programs.
The mission of the got breakfast? Foundation is to ensure that every child, regardless of background, starts the day with a nutritious breakfast in order to learn, grow and develop to his or her fullest potential.
Since 1983, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County has provided more than 265 million pounds of safe and nutritious surplus food to now over 450 charitable non-profit organizations throughout Orange County. For more information about Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County or to learn how to help, visit www.feedoc.org
SOURCE got breakfast? Foundation