(PRNewsFoto/Children's Hunger Alliance)
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Children's Hunger Alliance is one of 11 organizations that share the commitment to fight hunger with Walmart and the Walmart Foundation and earlier this year received $1.5 million grant funding to help expand access to nutritious meals for Ohio children living in food-insecure households.
With the USDA reporting that in 2015, 42.2 million people in America, including more than 13 million children lived in households at risk of struggling with hunger, the Walmart and the Walmart Foundation grants are helping provide meals to those who need them the most and helping students access the nutritious food they need for focused minds - both in and out of school.
Children's Hunger Alliance is working with partners throughout the state to expand school breakfast participation and awarded 36 grants to local school districts totaling nearly $200,000. The Walmart Foundation funds were regranted by Children's Hunger Alliance to the following local school districts to help tens of thousands of children access school breakfast:
- Newark City Schools in Licking County - $25,000 award
- Black River in Ashland County - $15,990 award
- Southwest Licking Local Schools in Licking County - $15,000 award
- Southern Local Schools in Columbiana County - $10,000 award
- Fremont Local Schools in Sandusky County - $10,000 award
- Washington-Nile Local Schools in Scioto County - $10,000 award
- Northwest Local Schools in Stark County - $10,000 award
- 29 other local school districts received awards ranging from $1,000 to $9,000.
"No child should be trying to learn on an empty stomach. We share Walmart and the Walmart Foundation's commitment to fighting hunger and were excited to put the grant funding to work in Ohio," said Mary Lynn Foster, President and CEO of Children's Hunger Alliance. "Schools at times need financial support to supplement their resources so they can offer every child the chance to enjoy a healthy breakfast. Thanks to our work with the Walmart Foundation we've been able to consult with local school districts and support the implementation of best practices that allow more students to participate in school breakfast."
Beyond helping to expand school breakfast, the $1.5 million grant went toward supporting a number of additional initiatives that will ensure more children in Ohio receive access to nutritious meals. Children's Hunger Alliance conducted a proprietary statewide childhood hunger assessment to guide the agency's strategic expansion into areas where children experience low food security. Children's Hunger Alliance also began offering the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to daycare centers throughout Ohio. The organization already sponsors nearly 900 in-home child care providers through its CACFP program. Finally, in an effort to sponsor additional childcare providers and afterschool programs, five community outreach coordinators were hired to increase awareness of program availability and drive community engagement around reducing childhood hunger throughout the state.
"These philanthropic investments are the latest examples of our long-standing commitment to hunger relief and dedication to ensuring every family has access to healthy and affordable food in the times and places they may need it," said Karrie Denniston, Senior Director of the Walmart Foundation. "Collaboration and dedication are key to making a positive impact on the issue of hunger in the U.S. and we're proud to work with Children's Hunger Alliance and our ten other nonprofit partners to support hunger relief and nutrition education for families in need. Thanks to the programs our partners have implemented, millions of children and families will have access to the healthy food needed to support a successful school year and beyond."
The grant awarded to Children's Hunger Alliance is one of 11 grants awarded to national nonprofit organizations totaling more than $33 million to fund nutrition education and meal programs for youth, and increase families' access to fruits and vegetables through state and federal nutrition assistance programs.
Other school districts that received funding from Children's Hunger Alliance through the Walmart grant to increase school breakfast participation include:
- Lima City Schools in Allen County
- Tri-County Career Center and Federal Hocking Local Schools in Athens County
- Carrollton EV Schools in Carroll County
- Graham Local Schools in Champaign County
- Greenon Local Schools and Clark-Shawnee Local Schools in Clark County
- Bucyrus City Schools in Crawford County
- Richmond Heights Schools, Warrensville Heights Schools, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Euclid City Schools in Cuyahoga County
- Lancaster City Schools in Fairfield County
- South-Western City Schools in Franklin County
- Edison Local Schools in Jefferson County
- NorthPointe Schools in Lucas County
- Marion City Schools and River Valley Local Schools in Marion County
- Meigs Local Schools and Eastern Local City Schools in Meigs County
- Lewisville Schools in Monroe County
- Kettering Middle School in Montgomery County
- West Muskingum Local Schools in Muskingum County
- Tri-County North Local Schools in Preble County
- Newcomerstown Schools in Tuscarawas County
- Van Wert City Schools in Van Wert County
- Marietta City Schools in Washington County
In October of 2014, Walmart announced a commitment to create a more sustainable food system, with a focus on improving affordability by lowering the "true cost" of food for both customers and the environment, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain. The commitment includes a goal of providing four billion meals to those in need by 2020.
For more information about the grant awarded to Children's Hunger Alliance visit ChildrensHungerAlliance.org.