In March 2019, we were presented with the National Child Nutrition Foundation’s award for excellence in collaboration. The award highlights an organization which develops successful partnerships between government, nonprofits, businesses, foundations, or other entities which results in improved impact and achieves greater outcomes for child nutrition programs. Our work with local organizations throughout San Diego County to create and expand afterschool supper programs was recognized in Chicago at the annual CACFP conference where Hunger Free Kids Director, Paloma Perez Bertrand, accepted the award.
It’s wonderful that San Diego is getting recognition for the amazing work we’re doing together to end child hunger. There are still a lot of kids to feed and we are ready to work with you to make sure every kid gets three square meals every day.
Everyone knows the importance of kids getting enough to eat. Every day, millions of Americans send their children off to school with a full stomach from a healthy breakfast and the promise of a filling lunch. Every day, there are millions more who don’t have the resources to provide a proper breakfast or lunch. Thankfully, the Free and Reduced Price Meals program can provide these children with the food they need to focus on school and excel in life.
But, what happens after the last bell? What if the school can’t serve an afterschool supper? What if those kids go home to a household that doesn’t always have enough to meet basic needs? What happens if dinner is too meager?
San Diego Hunger Coalition and its over 100 local partners have been asking these questions and finding or creating answers. Most recently, we asked what it looks like when your local library starts serving meals for kids. At our Feeding Minds & Bodies at the Library workshop, experts and practitioners gave us a look at how meals in libraries improve kids’ participation in programs, academic performance, and health. We also learned how easy it is for libraries to start their own meal program!
Imagine these kids having the option to stop by their library, do their homework, spend time in a safe space, and go home with a full stomach. This can be a reality when libraries, school districts, government agencies, and nonprofits work together. This is a vital part of SDHC’s mission.