With the school year right around the corner, many American parents are gearing up for the semester with purchases of new clothes, school supplies, and lunchtime favorites. After having spent a summer in the sun, these children are prepared to return to school refreshed and ready to learn.
However, for the over 16 million US children who live in food-insecure homes, this part of the year often signifies the struggle to get basic supplies and full bellies. The effects of food insufficiency on childhood education can be devastating. Not only does hunger diminish mental focus and brain function, the physical effects of nutrient insufficiency lead to a lowered immune system, which can sideline children from attending school. Thus, hunger not only is a humanitarian issue, but a roadblock to our future generation’s success.
In light of our amazing new partnership with Feeding America, we at 2 Degrees wanted to share how our newest NGO Partner is helping school children stay healthy and put their best foot forward during the school year! The organization addresses hunger through many influential national programs. The Kids Cafe and the BackPack Program are 2 examples of how Feeding America feeds hungry kids in the US.
The Kids Cafe provides meals and snacks for children in established after-school activities, like the Boys and Girls Club, recreation centers, etc. And- in addition to feeding kids- some Kids Cafes also offer a safe place for children to be involved in recreational, educational, and social activities with the supervision of trustworthy adults. All Kids Cafe sites also educate children in health and nutrition throughout the school year. Just how successful is this anti-hunger program? Over 1,500 Kids Cafe sites operate nationwide, serving more than 122,000 children each school year!
The BackPack Program helps provide meals to children over the weekends- a time when many kids from food-insufficient homes often struggle to get enough to eat. The BackPack program packs nutritious, easy to prepare meals in children’s book bags to take home over the weekend or vacation period. Many of these food provisions also feed younger siblings in the family, thus ensuring multiple child households have enough food for all! Just like its after-school counterpart, the BackPack Program also has an extensive reach- over 230,000 children keep their stomachs full during the weekend through this Feeding America initiative.
Both of these programs have proven instrumental in the battle against childhood hunger within the US, and we are proud to partner with Feeding America in our mission to feed hungry children. So remember when you’re stocking up for the new school year- 2 Degrees bars not only make great, healthy snacks but also help feed other hungry kids in schools across the country. Thanks for your continued support, and happy back-to-school!