The Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced that Hunger Is, their joint charitable initiative to fight childhood hunger in America, awarded over $4 million in grants to 79 local charities to feed hungry children living in neighborhoods throughout the country.
The Food bank of Delaware is one of those local charities, receiving a $20,000 grant to support the Backpack Program, a weekend meal program for kids.
Hunger Is invited qualified organizations to respond with approaches to increase access to free and reduced-cost school breakfast, to improve the nutritional quality of breakfast programs, and to expand weekend, summer and vacation feeding programs.
Regional charities located in areas where Albertsons Companies operate were invited to respond to Requests for Proposals. District Managers participated in the selection of local food or hunger-based organizations serving their immediate community. Some local organizations received multiple nominations by these Albertsons Companies Store Directors.
“We are thankful that representatives from Hunger Is chose the Food Bank of Delaware to receive this very generous grant,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Thanks to their support, we will be able to provide 119 children with weekend and holiday food through the program. With one in five Delaware children living in poverty, programs like the Backpack Program are a lifeline for many children.”
Through the Backpack Program, children at risk of weekend and holiday hunger are identified by teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors and other school personnel. Food Bank of Delaware volunteers pack plastic bags full of shelf-stable, kid-friendly food each week. A fleet of drivers deliver the bags to 128 schools throughout the state.
“We are excited and humbled to see how the funds raised in our stores have impacted children and schools throughout the country,” said Christy Duncan Anderson, Executive Director of the Albertsons Companies Foundation. “Thanks to the generosity of our customers and the dedication of our store teams, more children will start their school day ready to learn and succeed.”
The first Hunger Is fall season fundraiser took place in September in the Albertsons Companies stores throughout the U.S. and raised more than $2.5 million. The fundraiser generated donations through customer purchase of participating products in more than 2,200 stores across 33 states, as well as customer donations at the check stand. To date, Hunger Is has raised $12.5 million and awarded over 230 grants. The grantees can be found at hungeris.org/grantawards.
The Hunger Is program is guided by the Hunger Is Advisory Committee (HIAC) comprised of CEO’s from the leading hunger advocacy organizations in the U.S. including Drexel University, Center for Hunger-Free Communities, Feeding America, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Food Research and Action Center, Growing Power Inc., New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, and WhyHunger. The HIAC provides guidance in defining and addressing needs and makes funding recommendations for approval by the Albertsons Companies Foundation and EIF Board of Directors. Many of the local charities receiving the Hunger Is grants are affiliated with these advocacy organizations.
“We are pleased that the Hunger Is initiative is able to step in and support an evident and urgent need across the country,” stated EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen. “Working with our valued partner, the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the members of the Hunger Is Advisory Committee, we are collaborating to fill a critical gap in the health and welfare of America’s children – our future.”
More information about the issue is available at HungerIs.org, along with simple ways for individuals to donate.