Walmart and Tyson announce gifts to help nation's hungriest state form strategic partnership to end childhood hunger by 2015
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Billy Shore, founder and executive director of Share Our Strength®, today joined with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and First Lady Ginger Beebe to announce the launch of the No Kid Hungry Campaign in Arkansas. Lead Corporate Partner Walmart announced a $150,000 contribution to the campaign. Corporate Partner Tyson Foods announced a significant donation of food products to Arkansas food banks.
"Our strategy to end childhood hunger is based on closing the gaps between existing public and private programs and the families who need them," said Shore. "In Arkansas, as in many states, these programs are often under-utilized, keeping kids from getting three nutritious meals a day. This campaign will identify and close gaps, making sure that no child in Arkansas grows up hungry."
The No Kid Hungry Campaign will help reach children at risk of hunger in Arkansas by increasing participation in highly effective but under-utilized federal food and nutrition programs like food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP), the Summer Food Service Program, and School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. By increasing participation in these programs, the No Kid Hungry Campaign will bring additional federal funds to the State of Arkansas and help stimulate the local economy.
"Hungry children have a tougher time learning, meaning that hunger threatens our biggest obligation as a state: the education of our children," Governor Beebe said. "If every child is going to have the opportunity to succeed, we must make sure that their most basic needs are met."
"Walmart is proud to partner with the No Kid Hungry Campaign to help draw attention to the important issue of childhood hunger that many children, families and communities across our state face every day," said Vicky Luman, Market Manager for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "In the last two years, Walmart has given more than $1 million towards eradicating hunger in Arkansas. Our work here today is an important part of that effort."
"Tyson Foods is honored to work with great partners like those in the No Kid Hungry campaign, many of whom we've worked closely with in the past ten years, to combat the problem of childhood hunger," said Ed Nicholson, Director of Community and Public Relations for Tyson Foods. "We're proud to donate more than 180,000 pounds of food this week to food banks across our home state of Arkansas."
Currently, Arkansas has the highest rate of childhood food insecurity in the nation and 25% of children live below the poverty line. Yet, only 54% of low-income students in the state eat breakfast at school for every 100 who participate in the school lunch program and only about 11% of low-income students participate in summer nutrition programs. This campaign has set a number of goals to increase participation in programs that help reach Arkansas children in need.
In its first year, the No Kid Hungry Campaign seeks to increase participation in the food stamp program by 5%. Currently only 77% of those eligible were participating in the SNAP Program in Arkansas. According to the USDA, every $5.00 in SNAP benefits generates $9.20 in community spending thus increasing SNAP participation by 5% will yield an estimated additional $21 million in community spending. Additional priorities in the first year of the program include completing a comprehensive assessment of the existing public and private efforts in state to address childhood hunger and increasing participation in summer meals by 10-15%.
Governor Beebe has named the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance as the leading organization in the state within the partnership. It will work with Share Our Strength, the state Departments of Education, Human Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other key public and private organizations across the state.
Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign is a national effort to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Share Our Strength works with state, community and private sector leaders across the country to connect families facing hunger with the programs that can help them.
About Share Our Strength
Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry Campaign™—a national effort to end childhood hunger in America by 2015—Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in federal nutrition programs, invests in community organizations fighting hunger, teaches families how to cook healthy meals on a budget, and builds public-private partnerships to end hunger, both nationally and at the state level. Visit Strength.org to get involved in the No Kid Hungry Campaign.
About the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance
The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance (AHRA) is a non-profit collaborative network of hunger relief organizations throughout Arkansas. We work with local, state and federal organizations to keep food on the tables of our fellow Arkansans who need it most. The Alliance and its members provided more than 25 million pounds of food to hungry Arkansans in 2009. The Alliance was formed in 2004 with 6 founding members. The organization includes over 100 different members including food bank members, local hunger relief agencies, state level hunger programs and hunger advocates from around the state that work daily to reduce hunger in Arkansas.
Contacts: Dave Slater, Share Our Strength, 202.412.3159
Lucas Hargraves, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, 501.351.1135
SOURCE Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry