Tuesday, October 2, 2012
According to Feeding American, more than 18 million children qualify for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program, the fuel that they need to get them through the week. There nutritional needs are met during the week but what happens over the weekend when they are home?
To address this issue, Feeding American developed the BackPack program and has provided backpacks filled with food for children to take home for the weekend. For over 15 years, the BackPack program has provided children with easy to assemble meals. Today, 150 food banks assemble BackPacks weekly and close to 230,000 children are fed over the weekends.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation support Feeding America with the Fighting Hunger Together initiative and in 2010 committed to providing a 2 Billion cash and in-kind commitment to through 2015 to help end hunger in America. To date, the Fighting Hunger Together program has provided $122 million in grants and 594 million pounds of food to communities.
Here is a video that highlights a champion in the BackPack program.
You can find more inspirational videos by visiting Live Better. I personally believe that it is important for our children to understand that hunger is a problem that we can all help with. Last year, because of the generosity of Walmart, I was able to go grocery shopping with my son. When we arrived home I told him we were taking all of the food to school to donate it to people in need. Although my son is too young to volunteer with me at a food bank, he understood the importance of feeding people in need. When he is old enough, I will take him to a food bank so that he can do some hands on volunteer work.
I encourage you to engage your children in a discussion about hunger in America and provide age appropriate volunteer opportunities for them. I especially enjoy the holiday season because it is a time when children are excited about the gifts they are receiving and it is a teachable moment because my son will also learn about giving to others.
Disclosure: I am a Walmart mom and have been compensated to spread the word about his program. All opinions are my own.