Walmart Foundation Helps Expand MANNA Summer Packs
MANNA FoodBank received a Walmart Foundation grant for $72,520 to assist in funding MANNA’s Summer Pack food program. This grant will enable MANNA to double the number of children served in this year’s summer feeding program. The program is designed to cover the lunchtime meals that so many kids will be missing during school’s summer recess; childhood food insecurity happens for 24-33% of the children in MANNA’s service area. “We are very grateful to the Walmart Foundation. This grant will allow us to expand our current initiative and get hundreds more children the food they need to grow and thrive this summer”, says MANNA Youth Programs Manager, Beth Stahl.
For thousands of children across Western North Carolina, the end of school means the end of access to nutritious meals. Each school year, over 51,000 school children in our public schools are eligible for the National School Lunch Program. In an effort to give more children access to food when school is out, MANNA launched the MANNA Summer Pack Food Program. Last year, it served over 500 children in 5 WNC counties.
In 2014, the summer food program will include Madison, Jackson, Cherokee, Clay, Mitchell and with the new Walmart Foundation grant, Macon and Graham Counties will be added. Overall, the rate of childhood food insecurity in our region is 4-8% higher than the national average.
Children in the program will get a box of vital nutrition each week, an estimated 90,000 pounds of nutritious food will be delivered over the course of the summer.