2015 Award Winners
Children’s Hunger Alliance depends on strong partnerships with individuals and programs in order to ensure that more children across Ohio receive nutritious meals, nutrition education and physical activity. This year’s award winners have gone above and beyond in their dedication to Ohio’s children. Scroll through to take a closer look at the individuals and organizations who makes our amazing work possible!
Provider of the Year – Northwest Ohio
Veronica Aaron Bliss
Veronica (Roni) Aaron Bliss of Fremont has been a CHA-sponsored in-home child care provider since 2009. Roni currently cares for 23 children in her home throughout the week, along with three children of her own. She encourages healthy eating and physical fitness by planning meals and snacks that exceed USDA nutrition requirements, integrating nutrition education into meals, and engaging the children in activities like roller skating, playing ball and nature walks. Roni is a passionate and patient provider who cares for the children as if they are her own. Roni is part of the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Step Up To Quality program and is a member of the National Association for Family Child Care.
School Breakfast Program of the Year – Central Ohio
Columbus City Schools
During the 2014-2015 school year, Columbus City Schools had one of the highest school breakfast participation rates among public school districts in the state of Ohio. Columbus City Schools served about 4.3 million breakfast meals to students free of charge regardless of income, a 10% increase from the prior school year. After the first year of the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge, a statewide initiative promoting increased school breakfast participation co-sponsored by Children’s Hunger Alliance, American Dairy Association Mideast, Action for Healthy Kids, and Ohio School Nutrition Association, 65 of the 170 schools recognized for meeting the challenge award levels – or 38% – were Columbus City Schools. Five schools received the highest rating – platinum – meaning that 80% or higher of that school’s students eat breakfast each day. Not only does the district excel with student participation, but they also offer breakfast meals that exceed the federal nutrition standards by offering more fresh fruit items and fewer sugary entrees. CHA supports and applaud Columbus City Schools for helping ensure more students start their day with a nutritious meal and setting the conditions right for all students to learn.
Afterschool Program of the Year – Northeast Ohio
Rainbow Terrace Learning Center
The afterschool program site staff at Rainbow Terrace Learning Center on Cleveland’s east side truly care about the children they work with. The Learning Center is located in the community center of a revitalized low-income housing development that was reconstructed in 2001. Every day, the staff serves a healthy afternoon meal and teaches the elementary-age children the importance of eating well and staying active. Staff also works with CHA on ways to expand the program to reach and feed more children in the surrounding community. Since it became a CHA-sponsored afterschool meal site in 2014, the Rainbow Terrace Learning Center has been a model program. Staff members are always friendly and interested in learning more about the program, their paperwork for receiving USDA reimbursement is always in order, and there are always plenty of people on hand to help meal service run smoothly. Congratulations Rainbow Terrace Leaning Center and thank you for all that you do!
Summer Nutrition Program of the Year – Central Ohio
Serving Our Neighbors Ministries
Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries’ summer nutrition program serves as a model in the State of Ohio addressing the unique challenges of suburban poverty. During the summer of 2015, “Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids” provided nutritious meals and an enriching day camp experience for low-income children ages 1-18 while school was not in session. The program served a total of 669 children (a 72% increase from the previous year), including an increasing number of teens attending, through their growing Teen Internship Program. During the summer , 8,887 lunches were served through the Summer Food Service Program, as well as an additional 1,708 lunch and breakfast meals with food donated from local churches and community members. 600 pounds of vegetables from a local community garden went home with children, and enriching pro-social activities filled the day camp calendar. Activities included an educational field trip, a Summer Reading Club, and “Taco Bell, Jr.” where children invented and operated their own entrepreneurial Mexican restaurant. SON Ministries mobilized 290 adult and youth volunteers from the community to serve and build relationships with their neighbors. They also lent their nine plus years’ of experience to sponsor and mentor two additional meal sites in suburban areas outside of Hilliard, serving an additional 1,471 lunches. Since 2007, SON Ministries has taught 14 other organizations/communities around Ohio how to run free summer lunch programs for children facing poverty. We are proud partners of SON Ministries and applaud their efforts in providing food that’s in when school is out.
Volunteer Corporate Group of the Year – Central Ohio
Each year, Children’s Hunger Alliance depends on nearly a thousand volunteers to help our events run smoothly so we can provide children with healthy food, nutrition education and physical activity. Since 2006, employees from Discover in New Albany have volunteered at Children’s Hunger Alliance events in Columbus, including Summer Field Day, Menu of Hope and the Chilly Open. Since 2011, Discover has also funded the Summer Field Day event for 300 children in central Ohio. In addition to events, Discover volunteers have collected and packed hundreds of CARE kits and Weekend Food Kits for distribution to CHA’s family child care providers and children in our after
school programs. We especially thank Pam Harris and Pete Klipa for their ongoing efforts to recruit and coordinate volunteers to help us further our mission.
Staff Member of the Year – Central Ohio
Terri Scholl, Data & Online Training Specialist, began her career with Children’s Hunger Alliance in December 2005. For the last ten years, she has been a vital part of the Early Childhood & Nutrition Education team, assisting hundreds of CHA child care providers with their paperwork, online training requirements and any data issues that arise. While she is based in the Columbus office, she works with providers in every region of the state both online and over the phone. She was recognized by her colleagues as the 2015 Child Advocate of the Year for her amazing teamwork, customer service, advocacy for children, and dedication to CHA’s mission. In the words of one colleague, “Terri is always working very diligently behind the scenes, accurately and efficiently processing paperwork to ensure that providers are able to continue in our program.” Congratulations, Terri!