Students in Four U.S. Cities Receive 26,500 Books to Combat Summer Reading Loss

Books Provided by First Book, Feeding America and C&S Wholesale Grocers

Jun 24, 2013, 16:43 ET from First Book

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 7,000 students in York, Pa., Greenville, S.C., Stockton, Calif. and Indianapolis celebrated the end of school this week by cracking open brand-new books. The students, all of whom live at or below the poverty line, received a total of 26,500 books as part of a summer reading effort led by the nonprofit social enterprise First Book.

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"Kids without access to books over the summer lose months of valuable reading skills," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book.  "For too many kids, access to reading materials ends when summer vacation begins. We put new books into the hands of the kids that need them most so they'll continue reading this summer and come back to school prepared and ready to learn."

Through First Book's collaboration with leading hunger-relief charity Feeding America and the nation's largest food wholesaler C&S Wholesale Grocers, the youth programs of four Feeding America food banks serving York, Greenville, Stockton and Indianapolis received new books.

"Kids lacking adequate nutritional resources also often lack adequate educational resources," commented Jessica Jelinski, director of programs at Feeding America. "Through this collaboration, our food banks were able to send home both with students. We began the summer nourishing bodies and minds."

The book donation was made possible thanks to financial support from C&S Wholesale Grocers. C&S operates facilities in each of the four communities where books were distributed.

"What we do at C&S extends far beyond logistics and delivering food to supermarkets and stores," said Gina Goff, senior director of community involvement for C&S. "Our commitment to First Book started in 2006 and we've been a mission partner of Feeding America for many years.  Our Food for the Body, Food for the Mind initiative brings these two highly-respected, impactful organizations together to reach young and vulnerable children in a meaningful way." 

About First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.  By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit or follow their latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

About C&S Wholesale Grocers
C&S Wholesale Grocers of Keene, N.H. is the largest food wholesaler and according to Forbes magazine, the 10th largest privately held company in the United States. The company distributes food to supermarkets, retail stores and military bases across the country.  To learn more, please visit

About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that 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. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate.  Together we can solve hunger. Visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

Julia Hornaday

SOURCE First Book