WALLINGFORD, CONN., July 7, 2016 – A $10,000 grant from the Red Nose Day Fund is helping provide food to bridge the weekend meal gap for food insecure school children in Connecticut.
The grant helps the Connecticut Food Bank source and distribute food it provides to more than 3,300 children in 22 school districts participating in the Connecticut Food Bank Kids’ BackPack program.
The Kids’ BackPack program serves low-income children between the ages of three and 13 and targets schools where a large percentage of the students are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.
“Low income families struggling to meet basic needs often rely on the free or reduced price meals children receive at school to stretch their resources,” said Connecticut Food Bank CEO Bernie Beaudreau. “The food we provide through this program can help bridge the weekend meal gap when children don’t have access to those meals and they might not get all the food they need to grow and learn.”
Working with school staff who identify children at risk for hunger, the Connecticut Food Bank provides packages of kid-friendly, shelf stable and easy to prepare foods that are discretely placed in students’ backpacks on Fridays, assuring the children have nutritious food over the weekend, when they are unable to access free or reduced-price meals at school. More information about the program is available at www.ctfoodbank.org/get-help/programs/.
Beaudreau said the food provided in the backpacks is selected for its appeal to children and high nutritional value, as well for ease of storage and preparation. The food is packaged with age-appropriate nutrition education materials that are entertaining and promote good nutrition and healthy eating habits. “We hope to engage children with fun opportunities to develop eating behaviors that will have an impact on future health.”
Red Nose Day has raised $1 billion through its presence in the UK over the past 25 years. It is a campaign that united people from across the country to have fun, raise money, and change lives. Red Nose Day came to the USA in 2015, culminating in a three-hour NBC star-studded spectacular featuring sketch comedy, America’s favorite actors and comedians and musical performances, all broadcast live from New York City on Thursday, May 21, 2015. Funds raised through Red Nose Day support 12 nonprofits that work to lift children out of poverty. Red Nose Day selected Feeding America as one of its domestic partners. For its inaugural year, Red Nose Day contributed over $1 million to Feeding America. The Connecticut Food Bank received the $10,000 grant after applying to the Red Nose Day Fund during a second round of grants offered to select partners invited to apply for funds.
About the Connecticut Food Bank:
The Connecticut Food Bank is the state’s non-profit leader in the fight against hunger and the largest provider of charitably donated food. The Connecticut Food Bank partnered with the food industry, food growers, donors and volunteers to provide enough food last year to prepare more than 18.5 million meals. We distribute that food through a network of community based programs to more than 300,000 people across six Connecticut counties. Visit us on the web at www.ctfoodbank.org, like us on Facebook and follow @CTFoodBank on Twitter and Instagram.