CHILDREN’S HUNGER ALLIANCE RECEIVES RENEWED $1.5 MILLION GRANT FROM THE WALMART FOUNDATION TO ADDRESS CHILDHOOD HUNGER IN OHIO
Two-year grants totaling $3 million helped fund child nutrition statewide needs assessment and expanded ac
cess to healthy meals for at-risk children of all ages
COLUMBUS, OH (December 8, 2016) – Children’s Hunger Alliance, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in Ohio, today received a $1.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to help provide nutritious meals to the 630,000 food insecure children living in the state. The grant is the second in two years, bringing the Walmart Foundation’s investment to $3 million.
“The Walmart Foundation’s funding has greatly impacted our work and has allowed us to strategically expand our efforts to support Ohio’s food-insecure children,” said Mary Lynn Foster, CEO of Children’s Hunger Alliance. ”This second year of funding speaks to the progress we made with the first grant. We were able to expand access to healthy food to more children than ever before, and conducted a critical statewide needs assessment so we know where at-risk children lack the resources to get the help they need. ”
The mission of Children’s Hunger Alliance is to ensure children without access receive healthy food, nutrition education and physical activity. On average, one in four children in Ohio live in food-insecure households and are unsure of where their next meal will come from. However, in some Ohio counties, that number increases to as many as 1 in 3 children living with food insecurity.
Part of the first year’s Walmart Foundation funding was used by Children’s Hunger Alliance to conduct a comprehensive child nutrition statewide needs assessment. Most striking of the key learnings from the assessment was the lack of infrastructure in Southeast Ohio to support the incredibly high rate of children living in food-insecure homes. Some counties in Southeast Ohio have child food-insecurity rates as high as 30% – so 1 in 3 children in these communities do not have enough to eat and have little access to nutrition programs.
Children’s Hunger Alliance has identified six priority counties in Southeastern Ohio that have high rates of child food insecurity and lack the infrastructure to meet their needs:
· Jackson County
· Lawrence County
· Pike County
· Ross County
· Scioto County and
· Vinton County
The new $1.5 million grant from Walmart will be utilized to launch a Southeast infrastructure project in 2017 to address food access issues and barriers to participation in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program, which is administered statewide by the Ohio Department of Education. Children’s Hunger Alliance will gather information about where food-insecure children live, mapping out highways, road systems and neighborhoods to try to identify partners via libraries, schools, food pantries, churches, parks, hospitals and more where these children can possibly access food.
“The cornerstone to Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s nationwide commitment to fight hunger is supporting local organizations that are making a difference in our communities and helping our families live better,” said Walmart Market Manager Jeff Stone. “We are proud to continue our support for the Children’s Hunger Alliance mission and its effort to address food insecurity among children especially in those areas of the state where the need is the greatest.”
In the past year with the Walmart Foundation’s support, Children’s Hunger Alliance granted $200,000 to Ohio school districts to expand school breakfast. In addition, the organization began sponsoring six daycare centers, enrolling them in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program to provide essential nutrition to young children from low-income homes. Finally, Children’s Hunger Alliance piloted shelf-stable meals at afterschool programs to help meet the needs of programs that have fluctuating attendance to ensure every child has a meal.
With the new grant funding Children’s Hunger Alliance will continue to provide grants to school districts and summer nutrition programs. The organization will continue to expand its partnership with daycare centers to reach more of the youngest children who suffer from food insecurity. Shelf stable meals will also be used to help ensure children at afterschool programs receive the meals they need and to help provide immediate help to children in Southeastern Ohio.
About Children’s Hunger Alliance
Founded in 1970 in Columbus, Children’s Hunger Alliance is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in Ohio. The organization’s mission is to ensure children without access receive healthy food, nutrition education and physical activity. In 2015 the organization worked with partners including childcare providers and afterschool programs to help provide more than 5.2 million nutritious meals and snacks to hungry children throughout Ohio’s 88 counties. Learn more at childrenshungeralliance.org.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts that align with the company’s core business strengths. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief and Nutrition, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2020. To date, Walmart has donated more than 1 billion pounds of food to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://giving.walmart.com/foundation.