Within our community, 1 in 7 people face impossible decisions every day; 1 in 5 are children. Research shows that when children are hungry, they are at higher risk of chronic illnesses, like asthma and anemia, and behavioral challenges like hyperactivity, anxiety or aggression.
We tackle childhood hunger at the household level, because when a child is hungry, the whole family is hungry. And families who face food insecurity and poverty are forced to make impossible choices, like paying rent on time or buying this week’s groceries. So, along with providing snacks and ready-to-eat meals for children on weekends and school breaks, we give out fresh and non-perishable items at schools for entire families, so everyone in South Michigan has a bright future.
We designed these programs to meet the need for children and families.
Fresh Food Distributions open the door to provide food for entire families, including children who are not yet school-aged — because when a child is hungry often the whole family is hungry. The food given at these sites equips families with nutritious ingredients for nearly 20 meals! Together, these sites feed 100 families every month, giving us the opportunity to reach children throughout the summer and breaks when school is not in session.
The Backpack Program sends non-perishable meal packages home with students in low-income households so they have access to food over the weekends and school breaks. Each package contains enough food for four meals.
School pantries provide snacks and easy meals for kids throughout the school day who may have missed meals from home. In addition to shelf-stable, nutritious snacks like granola bars or peanut butter and crackers, we have also incorporated fresh produce, like apples and oranges, into our pantries so every child can have fresh options.