Walmart Foundation Helps Kids Gain Access to Food and Nutrition Education as Summer Months Bring Risk of Hunger
$15.5 million in grants to seven national nonprofits support meal and nutrition programs this summer and year-round in over 7,700 U.S. communities
Walmart Foundation announces $15.5 million in grants to seven national nonprofits to support free meal and nutrition education programs this summer and throughout the school year. The programs in more than 7,700 communities across the country will help over one million low-income children and their families gain access to critical meals and teach them how to cook and eat healthy together. The nonprofits receiving funding from the Walmart Foundation include: National Council of Young Men’s Christian Association (Y-USA), National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative, National 4-H Council, National League of Cities, FoodCorps and Common Threads.
These grants come at a challenging time for the millions of children who are out of school and without access to school meals and daily routines. Many children who benefit from eating free and reduced priced school meals do not participate in summer meal programs. Although this gap is slowly closing, only one in six low-income children who relied on school lunch during the school year participated in a summer nutrition program last year, according to a new report issued by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). This leaves many children vulnerable to hunger and poor nutrition during the summertime and poses a risk to future health.
“While many children look forward to the summer months as a time to relax, it can be a difficult time for families who rely on meals at school,” said Karrie Denniston, director of hunger relief and nutrition at the Walmart Foundation. “As in years past, this summer we continue our work with longstanding nonprofit partners to help more kids access meals and learn to develop nutritious eating habits so they can live healthy lives.”
The grants from the Walmart Foundation will serve families through the following programs:
National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations (Y-USA)
Enable the expansion of year-long food programs to provide healthy meals, snacks and enriching activities that support the holistic development of 200,000 kids in more than 2,300 communities across the United States.
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
Provide more than 15 million meals to underserved youth, and provide nutrition education to more than 257,000 children and families in 80 communities across the United States.
Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative
Increase child participation in summer and afterschool meal programs in 12 regions across Texas.
National 4-H Council
Provide nutrition education in 24 states for underserved youths, with a focus on expanding programs for African Americans and Hispanic audiences.
National League of Cities
Implement year-round feeding programs, with the support of the Food Research and Action Center, to provide 2.4 million meals to low-income children.
Provide training and resources needed to help children access nutrition education in 500 schools in 16 states, and Washington D.C. Programs leverage the USDA My Plate curriculum to teach kids about healthy food, build/tend to school gardens and bring locally sourced food from farms into school cafeterias.
Expand hands-on cooking and nutrition education curriculum in six cities to teach children and their families in underserved communities the skills needed to get America’s kids cooking for life. This grant will also be used to develop a digital platform for students to reinforce lessons through games and collaborative projects.
As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is uniquely positioned to lead on the issue of fighting hunger and helping provide access to nutrition education. As part of a commitment to creating a more sustainable food system, Walmart has set goals to provide four billion meals to those in need in the U.S. and help four million people access nutrition education through 2020. Through the commitment, Walmart is also dedicated to improving the affordability of food by lowering the “true cost” of food for both customers and the environment, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain.