Children’s Hunger Alliance Delivers $46K in Grants to Expand Access to Summer Meals in 18 Counties
Report from Food Research and Action Center Indicates Modest Growth in Number of Kids Served in Ohio Last Summer; More Children Still Await Assistance
COLUMBUS, OH – July 13, 2018 – Children’s Hunger Alliance continued to increase access to free breakfasts and lunches this summer for Ohio children living in food insecurity. The organization provided $46,000 in grants to schools and non-profit organizations in 18 counties to help feed more children this summer.
In addition, Children’s Hunger Alliance was awarded $25,500 from Columbus City Council to provide a portion of the funding needed for five new open summer feeding sites. These five sites are operating at Columbus City schools in partnership with Columbus Parks and Recreation to provide open summer feeding sites that do not require enrollment in high-need areas. In June more than 470 unduplicated children were served through these sites.
During the school year, on average, more than 622,000 Ohio children eat a free or reduced-price lunch each day at school. During summer break, 10.4 percent of these children – or nearly 65,000 kids – are eating a free meal at a USDA-sponsored summer feeding site. This rate of participation, according to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), ranks Ohio 37th in the nation in terms of summer meal participation. States that rank in the top 10 are feeding 40 percent, 30 percent or 20 percent of the low-income student population that rely on free school lunches. During the summer of 2017, less children nationwide were accessing a free summer meal than in 2016, but in Ohio there was a modest increase of an average of 1,900 more children eating daily than the prior year.
“We know that 9 out of 10 children who receive free or reduced meals during the school year aren’t being served during the summer months and they urgently need our help,” said Judy Mobley, president and CEO of Children’s Hunger Alliance. “We know children are at even greater risk of going hungry in the summer months so we are working with schools and community partners to expand the number of sites that serve children. This is critical work that would not be possible without funding from individuals, government and corporate supporters. “
The $46,000 in grants were funded by the AEP Foundation, the CareSource Foundation, PNC Charitable Trust: Jay C. Williams Fund, and the Walmart Foundation and enabled Children’s Hunger Alliance to invest in expanding the summer meal programs of community partners across the state. The grants helped support the launch of new summer feeding programs with Edison Local Schools, Garfield Heights School District, Newark City Schools, Vinton County Local Schools and Winton Woods City Schools. Below is a list of the grants made so far this summer, by county:
• Federal Hocking Local Schools – $3,000. Children’s Hunger Alliance supported a new unique opportunity initiated by the school to create a summer food/book bus in collaboration with several community partners. Federal Hocking turned a school bus into a mobile food pantry, lunch bus and traveling library. Children can enjoy a healthy meal and check out books while parents shop for free food, including fresh produce. Children’s Hunger Alliance also provided 1,000 shelf stable meals to be given to children on Fridays so they have a weekend meal available.
• Adams Brown Counties Economic Opportunities (ABCAP) – $3,000. Children’s Hunger Alliance is supporting three new feeding sites in Brown County where summer feeding has been extremely limited. ABCAP also provides services to Adams County.
• New Miami Local School District – $1,800. The school district began delivering summer lunch sacks to four local parks and is feeding approximately 50 children a day. The grant from Children’s Hunger Alliance supported startup costs, the purchase of coolers and carts and also provided awareness with yard signs and more.
• Garfield Heights School District – $2,000. Garfield Heights piloted summer lunch service for the first time at an elementary school and met its goal of serving an average of 75 children per day.
• The Well at Sunnyside – $2,000. This non-profit organization operates a program called the Kids’ Café during summer break to provide youth with fun activities and a free lunch. The grant funding enabled The Well to add an additional feeding site at Cherry Hill Primary School.
• SON Ministries – $1,000. Children’s Hunger Alliance has supported SON Ministries’ unique summer feeding strategies for years as they serve nearly 1,000 children in suburban communities. SON Ministries offers unique programming such as Kidz Cafes, which provide young adults the chance to serve food to others in the community.
• Winton Woods City Schools – $3,000. Children’s Hunger Alliance collaborated with Winton Wood’s administration to begin summer feeding for the first time, and is utilizing mobile feeding to reach the most children possible. A remodeled school bus visits five sites throughout the community, including apartment complexes, and provides more than 120 free lunches each week day to children.
• Hillsboro City Schools – $2,000. Last year, Hillsboro used a Children’s Hunger Alliance grant to purchase a mobile food truck and fed on average 350 children a day. This year, the truck will travel to nine sites. The school has partnered with community organizations to add fun activities at each site and expects to feed more than 500 children each day.
• Edison Local Schools – $2,500. This grant helped the school district launch their first summer feeding program, which provides more than 100 meals daily to children. The school is also preparing more than 200 meals daily for the Urban Mission of Steubenville.
• Urban Mission – $5,500. This grant helped expand the number of feeding sites throughout Steubenville and Wintersville. The Children’s Hunger Alliance team also connected Urban Mission with Edison Local Schools, which prepares cold meals for Urban Mission sites and improves the appeal of summer meals for children who formerly only had access to shelf stable meals.
• Newark City Schools – $2000. Newark piloted summer feeding in June by sending 7 school buses to 21 stops in the community on Mondays and Fridays to provide shelf stable meals and produce for families.
Lucas & Wood County
• Summer Meal Partners of Northwest Ohio – $3,500. Children’s Hunger Alliance has been an ongoing partner in this mobile feeding initiative that serves hundreds of thousands of meals each summer at more than 150 feeding sites.
• Neighborhood Ministries – $2,000. This grant supported the organization’s expanded use of high school students to engage with younger children to increase summer meal participation. With the prospect of having a buddy to play with, 1,000 kids each day visiting 20 different sites are met by 25 young adults who receive incentives to be summer helpers.
• Community Christian Fellowship – $1,000. This grant supported Community Christian Fellowship’s summer lunch program.
• Switzerland of Ohio – $1,500. Last year Switzerland of Ohio was named Summer Program of the Year for working with us to provide meals to children at 12 sites throughout the community via school vehicles. Last year the school provided more than 18,000 meals to children in need and are continuing their successful program this summer.
• Chillicothe Local School District – $4,000. This grant helps the school continue its second year of mobile summer feeding via Babe the Blue Lunch Bus, a school bus that was converted to a lunch truck that delivers meals throughout Chillicothe. The program expanded in 2018 to include free activities for children at bus stops, such as a free movies at the local theater, a free game of bowling, free entrance to a children’s museum and more.
• Indian Valley Schools – $2,500. This grant supported the school’s summer meal expansion, which included delivering lunch to five local parks two days a week.
Van Wert County
• Van Wert YWCA – $500. Children’s Hunger Alliance was able to support this successful summer feeding program to offer extended hours on select days so children in attendance could attend swim lessons. The program provides nutritious meals and physical activity to help children stay healthy and active during the summer.
• Vinton County Local School District – $5,000. This grant funded by the CareSource Foundation is part of a larger initiative by Children’s Hunger Alliance to expand access to afterschool and summer meals for children in Vinton County. This is the first summer that meals are being made available to children at the high school.
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 works with child care providers, schools and community organizations such as churches, recreation centers and libraries, to provide healthy meals and snacks to food-insecure children. Each year Children’s Hunger Alliance helps provide millions of nutritious meals through early childhood nutrition, school breakfasts, afterschool and summer meals. Learn more at ChildrensHungerAlliance.org