Whether it's back to school, fall harvest or kicking off the football season, September is a time for action. And for six inspiring individuals, September marks the beginning of their two-year commitment to help conquer child hunger. The Child Hunger Corps is launching in six communities this fall. Managed by Feeding America and funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation, participants in this national service program will develop and operate programs specifically designed to provide children with better access to nutritious meals. For each of the next three years, Feeding America will work with 10 food banks and recruit 10 new Child Hunger Corps members who will each serve in the Corps for two years. At the conclusion of ConAgra Foods Foundation's funding commitment, at least 36 individuals will have been selected to join the Child Hunger Corps.
"Food banks across the country are facing the same challenges as many families: Doing more for their 'family' of clients on tighter budgets. With the support of the ConAgra Foods Child Hunger Corps members, each of these six food banks will have the invaluable resource of having someone on their team dedicated to fighting child hunger," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. After going through a rigorous selection and training process with Feeding America, the first members of the Child Hunger Corps include:
Alex Handfinger – Arkansas Foodbank Network in Little Rock, Ark.
Danielle Hardre – Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, Fla.
Terri Mangano – Mid-Ohio FoodBank in Grove City, Ohio
Dorothy Mitchell – Oregon Food Bank in Portland, Ore.
Kimberly Shrader – Feeding America Southwest Virginia in Salem, Va.
Reginald Young – Houston Food Bank in Houston, Texas
"With nearly one in four American children facing hunger, it's clear that childhood hunger is a national problem. However, ending childhood hunger will require local solutions that fit the needs of the community," said Kori Reed, executive director, ConAgra Foods Foundation."Child Hunger Corps members will be in a unique position to understand the root causes of child hunger in each of their communities and to establish truly successful programs. I can't wait to see what they accomplish."
During their two-year commitment, Child Hunger Corps members will:
Work with their host food bank to identify gaps in programs and services for children, by conducting a community needs assessment.
Establish new programs or expand existing programs to address the identified gap(s) and increase children's access to nutritious food in the summer, after school, on weekends, and/or at home.
Document and evaluate their work designing and implementing programs so that others can learn from their work and the programs they start remain sustainable.
Beginning in January 2011, applications will be accepted for the next group of 10 Child Hunger Corps members who will begin their efforts to combat child hunger in August 2011. To learn more about the Child Hunger Corps, please visit http://feedingamerica.org/careers/current-job-openings/child-hunger-corps-member.aspx.
To find out how you can take action this month, visit http://hungeractionmonth.org/thirty-ways-in-thirty-days.aspx.
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Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and 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.
The ConAgra Foods Foundation, through its Nourish Today, Flourish Tomorrow platform, is dedicated to raising awareness of the nearly 17 million children in America who are at risk of hunger and don't have enough food to live active, healthful lives. It aggressively pursues sustainable solutions in the fight against child hunger. And the Foundation is committed to building a community of people who are passionate about ensuring that all kids have access to the food and facts they need to eat nutritiously while living balanced lifestyles and succeeding in school and life. ConAgra Foods Foundation invests in national and local partnerships with high-impact, not-for-profit organizations, such as Feeding America, that take an innovative approach to addressing needs in the core areas of hunger and nutrition education. For more information, please visit www.conagrafoodsfoundation.org or www.facebook.com/ConAgraFoodsFoundation. The ConAgra Foods Foundation is funded solely by ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG).