As summer approaches, the end of the school year marks the beginning of a hungry season for millions of kids who rely on school for regular access to food. Many students, however, are unaware of the wide-reaching impact hunger has on their peers. To drive awareness about families struggling with hunger this summer, Feeding America is launching a new collaboration with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, to provide educators, students and parents with resources and activities to encourage community support for families in need.
The program called “Hungry to Help” is designed to teach K-2 students about empathy and arm them with tools to take action in the fight to end hunger during their summer break. The family action plan includes conversation starters on the topic of hunger, hands-on community service ideas, an activity sheet and an action plan checklist. The program is supported through funding generously provided by Conagra Brands Foundation.
“More than 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program during the school year, but when school is out during the summer, fewer than 4 million receive meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program. We know that hunger deprives kids of more than just food — it robs them of the energy to focus, learn and grow,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “We hope this program will help teach kids to develop empathy while also informing them that hunger is an issue in their own peer group.”
According to the USDA, more than 13 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.
“We know that hunger affects children’s ability to learn and that nearly every school in the country has students who struggle with food insecurity,” said Ann Amstutz Hayes, Senior Vice President of Scholastic. “Our hope is that this program will not only encourage empathy in the classroom and at home but also inspire kids to feel empowered to take an active role in helping those in need in their communities.”
To learn more about the “Hungry to Help” program, visit scholastic.com/hungrytohelp.
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs 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 www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.