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.
For more information regarding child hunger:
Click on the link above to view our full newsletter on Child Hunger
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 tremendously, with one in five children experiencing hunger. Colorado’s children are not immune to this issue, and 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.
As Americans, childhood hunger is not typically on our radar; however, studies show that inadequate nutrition is frequently linked with increased obesity and the rise in type II diabetes. Various entities are working to tackle this issue in western Colorado, including food banks, pantries, churches and weekend emergency food backpack programs distributed through schools, all providing resources to support families in need. Additionally, school districts, such as District 51 in Mesa County and District Re-1J in Montrose County are introducing a greater variety of fresh, healthy food options to students.
In 2012, our Community Foundation partnered with the United Way of Mesa County and Rocky Mountain PBS to host an educational opportunity for our donors. The event – A Place at the Table, A Seat on the Bus – included presentations and site visits of agencies that address child hunger and a screening of the documentary, “A Place at the Table.” This film features a fifth grader from Collbran, Colorado, one of our communities in Mesa County, whose family struggles daily to put food on the table; as a result, the student has trouble thriving in school.
The film shows how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation. Learn more at A Place at the Table-One Nation. Underfed.
Our Community Foundation is working to convene government and community leaders, businesses, service providers, schools, other organizations and funding partners to learn about the issue of child hunger, identify needs and gaps in services, and develop strategies to address the problem.
In 2013, our Community Foundation provided over $11,000 in grants to address child hunger. In 2014, that total increased to $55,000 for programs addressing this issue throughout western Colorado.
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