Today was a big day for Georgia kids. Â I was thrilled to join Gov. Nathan Deal, Share Our Strength, the USDA, the 7 regional food banks, super-powered vegetable super heroes the Super Sprowtz, Walmart, Con Agra Foods Foundation, and leaders from across the state to kick off the Georgia Feeding for a Promising Future â€“ No Kid Hungry Campaign. Georgia ranks 6th highest in the nation for child food insecurity with more than 700,000 children in the state at risk of hunger.
This public-private partnership between Share Our Strength and the Georgia Food Bank Association includes support from government, nonprofit and corporate partners who are working towards changing that statistic and making certain no child goes hungry in Georgia.
Right out of the gate, weâ€™ll be working to close the suppertime and summer time gap by getting more kids participating in summer meals and afterschool meal programs, and weâ€™re making sure families know about the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP) so they can feed their kids healthy meals at home.
A quick recap of todayâ€™s event: Students at Feldwood Elementary School kicked off the event with a HOPSports physical activity workout and the Super Sprowtz entertained the crowd while teaching about the importance of healthy eating. Don Arnette, Southeast Regional Administrator for USDA, spoke about the important safety net that USDA food and nutrition programs provide. Gov. Deal called upon us all to do our part to make certain Georgia students have the food they need to succeed in school and in life. Share Our Strengthâ€™s chief strategy officer Josh Wachs spoke about the important work being done by the national No Kid Hungry Campaign nationwide that is helping to increase awareness about the issue and the important programs that are in place to help us end childhood hunger.
We have a powerful partnership in Georgia and we are already hard at work. This past summer, Share Our Strength awarded mini-grants to help 13 organizations in Georgia improve summer meals service and reach more kids with regular, nutritious meals when classes let out. We plan to continue this work and also focus on increasing participation in afterschool meals programs and SNAP. Throughout the state, Cooking Matters programs, which teach students, parents and families how to cook budget-friendly, nutritious meals, help us make certain members of our community are armed with the nutritional knowledge they need to eat healthy meals where they live, learn and play.
Then energy at the kick-off event was clearâ€”Georgia is already on the way towards ending childhood hunger in the state and the important work is just beginning! I look forward to working together with leaders across the state as the campaign director to make no kid hungry a reality in Georgia.