Resources from our recent Child Hunger Learning Summit

 

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

Share our Strength – Cooking Matters

Friday Mobile Meal Program – Rifle, CO

Kids Aid

 

To access FRAC’s free webinars, please click here

IMG_7520_Orientation

Alleviating Child Hunger in our Region

Click on the link above to view our full newsletter on Child Hunger

If you are interested in starting a summer mobile meals program in your community, please refer to the following links. No Kid Hungry’s Center for Best Practices has developed a Mobile Meals Playbook with various case studies and planning tips that can greatly assist you in your own process. When developing Mesa County School District 51’s Lunch Lizard, here are some steps that were taken in the planning process that may assist your community.

No Kid Hungry: Best Practices

Planning for Mobile Meal Delivery

For more information regarding child hunger:

Hunger Free Colorado

Food Research and Action Center

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign

United States Department of Agriculture

Alleviating Child Hunger

WCCF has identified child hunger as an issue that impacts hundreds of children and their ability to learn. Nationwide, there are about 50 million people who don’t know where their next meal will come from, amounting to one in six Americans. This impacts children right here in Colorado – with estimates of 1 in 5 children not knowing when or where they will get their next meal.  Nearly 60 percent of Colorado teachers report that they have students who regularly come to school hungry. Studies show that when children are not receiving proper nutrition, they fall behind and stay behind their peers. Students have difficulty focusing, causing for lost instruction time within the classroom.

Since 2012, WCCF has been identifying innovative solutions to address child hunger in our communities and providing funding to hunger relief organizations to help them better meet community needs. WCCF met with community leaders, school district employees, parents, stakeholders and child hunger organizations and identified a gap in services as summer school options had ended due to grants ending and lack of resources.  WCCF worked with Mesa County Valley School District 51’s Food and Nutrition Services to develop a solution that brings free summer meals to low-income neighborhoods to ensure kids have access to a nutritious lunch during the summer months when school is out and summer

Lunch Lizard Summer Mobile Meals Program – Feeding Hungry Kids…One Neighborhood at a Time

In 2015, WCCF and Mesa County Valley School District 51’s Food and Nutrition Services piloted the Lunch Lizard Summer Mobile Meals Program, providing free, nutritious meals to children ages 0-18 in Mesa County’s lower income areas. Lunch is brought directly to where children live and play, decreasing barriers for children to access summer meals. Partners like School District 51 help WCCF identify community needs; over 10,000 students are eligible for free and reduced lunches, but these children have limited meal options in the summer months.

In 2016, the program expanded and nearly quadrupled the number of meals served to 16,000. Kids Aid partners with the program and provided over 2,600 bags of weekend food.

In 2017, the Lunch Lizard Summer Meals program expanded to reach more children than ever before, serving 24,100 meals. This exceeded the program goal to serve 20,000 meals. The Lunch Lizard now has three trucks serving at 17 sites from May 30-August 4th, 5 days a week. The expanded program now offers enrichment activities at every stop with the help of 50 Volunteers who provide daily activities including book give-aways, bird identification, science experiments, games and physical education activities.

For more information on summer meals near your community see the Summer Meals Western Colorado Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/lunchlizard

District 51 Nutrition Services – https://community.d51schools.org/sites/shared/food/Pages/Summer-Meals.aspx

Regional Summer Meals

WCCF is a regional community foundation working to improve the communities of Colorado’s western slope. Working with various partners in summer 2016, from school districts to community organizations, WCCF provided grant funding and technical support to help provide nearly 3,000 summer meals to children in low-income communities in our region.

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