3 Million reasons for kids (and parents) to love Arby’s.

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arbys “At Arby’s, we are working together to help end childhood hunger in America, because every child deserves to learn, play and grow.” – Arby’s Foundation mission statement.

Nationally, one in five children don’t know where they will get their next meal. In Georgia, this statistic is even higher – hunger affects one in four Georgia children.

In furthering its mission, the Foundation has been a strong supporter of Share Our Strength‘s No Kid Hungry campaign, and a supporter of Georgia Food Bank Association’s “Feeding for a promising future – No Kid Hungry in Georgia” Campaign.   Over the last two years GFBA and Share Our Strength have used minigrants to build statewide capacity of after-school and summer feeding programs, including the implementation of the Arby’s-sponsored texting system launched last summer, which give parents information on nearby summer meal sites.

Today, with the help of Governor Nathan DealArby’s President Hala Moddelmog, and Arby’s Foundation Executive Director Kate Atwood, we’re starting on a three-year mission to help end childhood hunger in Georgia. The Arby’s Foundation is committing $3 Million to our Campaign to build on the work we’ve already done. (Press release here.)

(L-R: John Becker, President of the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia; Kate Atwood, Executive Director of the Arby’s Foundation; Kay Blackstock, Executive Director of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank; Hala Moddelmog, President of Arby’s; Bill Bolling, Executive Director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank; First Lady Sandra Deal; Mary Jane Crouch, Executive Director of America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia; Danah Craft, Executive Director of the Georgia Food Bank Association; Frank J. Richards, Executive Director of Second Harvest of South Georgia; and Travis McNeal, Executive Director of Golden Harvest (Augusta, GA). More photos at Flickr and Facebook.

In partnering with the GFBA’s “Feeding for a Promising Future – No Kid Hungry” campaign, the Arby’s Foundation will work closely with the Georgia community to raise awareness and advocate for change in the fight against childhood hunger by:

  • Increasing participation in summer and afterschool meal programs and increasing the number of organizations serving them
  • Providing nutrition education to children and their families to sustain a lifestyle of healthy eating

Michele Chivore, GFBA Campaign Director will lead this important work.   Michele and 3 regional staff, which we are calling “Arby’s Fellows,” will focus on increasing the number of organizations feeding children with the Summer and After School programs, and increasing awareness about these sites to eligible parents.  Arby’ employees will be part of this important work in their communities.

Watch for more information about County Challenges that will include implementation funds for entire counties who collaborate to help end childhood hunger in their county.  And we’ll be identifying strategic capital investments like community kitchens, vans and equipment in targeted areas to permanently increase meal delivery capacity year-round.

And we are developing plans to work on Nutrition and health components with partners like Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  It is critical that we align our work with the initiatives fighting obesity, since hunger and obesity are two sides of the same coin.

GFBA is in a unique position to partner with Arby’s on this work because of our 7 member food banks and their network of more than 2300 partner agencies and pantries and our mission alignment around fighting hunger in Georgia. Our Campaign’s ongoing partnerships with the Governor’s Office of Children and Families and agencies like Bright from the Start and the Department of Education who administer these programs are critical to the success of this investment.

Watch this space and Facebook for information about our progress and how you can get involved.

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