Parenting Blog

We Can Make This Summer Hunger-Free For Millions of Kids

This post is brought to you by ConAgra Foods and The Motherhood, and I’ve been compensated for my time. However, all opinions are my own, as always.

Causes get more traction when a celeb is on board (see: every single televised benefit concert after every single televised disaster), it’s the way of our world and instead of fighting it, which I am wont to do, let’s work together with actor Chris O’Donnell to put meals down in front of kids this summer. O’Donnell (he’ll always be Boy Wonder to me) has joined with ConAgra Foods to bring awareness to this under-reported issue of domestic hunger and to make the video below, every single view of which will result in a meal being donated to a child in need.

So please watch this 90-second vid now and then again and again, and please consider sharing it around with your online crew. It’s slacktivism at its best, but it’ll really work to make Summer ’13 Hunger-Free and to make our world a tiny bit better.

According to the Child Hunger Ends Here website, over a 555,000 children face hunger in my state alone! That’s so screwed up for what is touted as the greatest nation on earth. A half a million kids…in just my state??? WTF!

Thankfully ConAgra Foods has made fighting child hunger part of its culture. For two decades the company has supported solutions-based organizations by ensuring the get the funding they need to provide for children in need. Want that broken down in dollar bills? Sure, how about these figures: 1/2 of ConAgra Foods Foundation’s $10 million commitment to Feeding America is dedicated to summer hunger support. Not bad at all. The program is entering its 4th year and has supported the delivery of more than 2.5 million meals and snacks to kids battling summertime hunger.

This year, the goal is to reach 25% more children in need during the summer and to raise awareness of this issue that gets just about ZERO coverage in the media. I guess the reputable news organizations are too tracking celeb rehab stints and catching glimpses of sideboob to alert viewers/readers of this alarming nugget of statistical truth: 21.5 million kids rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but when school is out for the summer only 2.3 million children participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). That leaves a boatload of kids in the gap, hungry and unaware of where the next meal is coming from, and when.  For those unfortunate 18+ million children — I cannot even come to terms with typing that number! — summer isn’t really about fun camps, sprinklers in the backyard, road trips, or the latest video games.

Those children stuck in the gap may not have access to summer meal assistance programs for a variety of reasons:

  • Low Awareness: Families may not know about the programs that are available in their area
  • Geographic Barriers: Children may not be able to get to summer meal programs because of a lack of transportation or because they live in rural areas
  • Limited availability of summer meal programs: Whether a lack of awareness of the federal program, or a lack of resources to operate feeding programs (volunteers, feeding sites and partners), these seasonal programs aren’t available in certain communities

This summer, 29 food banks in 20 states will use Hunger-Free Summer grants – ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 – to overcome some of these barriers.

Please do even the slightest bit from right where you are now. Lift a single finger and click to watch the Hunger-Free Summer video from Chris O’Donnell. When you do a meal will be provided to a child. Done and done.

Interested in getting more involved in your community to provide food, directly or indirectly, to kids in need? Visit the Child Hunger Ends Here website to locate food banks and discover more ways you can take action. Thanks you so much.

This post is brought to you by ConAgra Foods and The Motherhood, and I’ve been compensated for my time. I will be donating a portion of that compensation to food banks in my area. All opinions expressed above are my own, as always.

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