As a brand, and as individuals, we are deeply committed to fighting childhood hunger where it is needed most. We know that as conscious consumers and change-makers, you are too.
We also know that domestic childhood hunger is often overlooked as global crisis demand headlines.
The reality is, one of every six children in America live in households without consistent access to enough food. That’s 13 million children in need across the country.
For the first time in our history, over half of public school students are from low-income families. Because of this, 22 million kids are relying on free or reduced-price school lunches to get the nourishment they need to focus and learn at school. In addition to the school lunch programs, 12 million rely on free or reduced breakfast.
The good news? There are people working to change this.
Last February, we announced a partnership with Share Our Strength, the anti-hunger organization that ensures students across the U.S. have access to free school meals. We updated our giving model to ensure that your purchases supported both domestic efforts through Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program as well as continuing to support global hunger alleviation through our longtime partner, the World Food Programme.
Why We’re Proud to Support No Kid Hungry
No Kid Hungry is Share our Strength’s national campaign to end childhood hunger here in the United States. They fight hunger by working to organize, fund and provide the resources needed to implement free or reduced meal programs in schools across the nation.
Through our work with them, our eyes have been opened to the realities of the hunger problem here in our own country, and the specific solutions needed to help solve it.
We knew the ins and outs of global giving and how our partners at the UN World Food Programme were feeding children in need around the world. And while we volunteer monthly at local NYC food banks, we had not yet seen firsthand how the school meal program works here in the U.S.
The cause became even more personal last month when team FEED convened outside a middle school in Brooklyn, in the wee (very dark) hours of the morning, ahead of the first school bell.
Over the next few hours, we toured the school, met with No Kid Hungry representatives, as well as with representatives from the New York Department of Education and met some friendly little faces during free school breakfast, served right in their classrooms.
At PS 133, as in many other schools across New York City, and the nation, students are offered not only free school breakfast, but a free lunch and supper as well. There are no reduced-price lunches, no complicated forms for parents to remember to fill out to ensure their child qualifies for a free meal(s). Instead, it’s offered to everyone – even the teachers – every day. Not only does this help ensure that all of the children who really need it, have access to it, but it removes the stigma associated with a free meal.
Free breakfast, especially when served in the classroom after the first bell, has massive and wide-ranging benefits. According to No Kid Hungry, kids who eat school breakfast attend 1.5 more days of school every year, score 17.5% higher on math tests and are 20% more likely to graduate high school.
A twenty percent increase in the likelihood of receiving a high school diploma, as a result of a receiving a free breakfast, is simply incredible.
How No Kid Hungry Works
The work that No Kid Hungry is doing, working hand-in-hand with boards of education, school principals and school boards across the country, is unparalleled.
Not only are they helping provide the infrastructure, support and resources needed to implement free or reduced school lunch, breakfast, supper and even summer meals, they are ensuring the food itself is of the highest quality, often within a limited city or statewide budget.
They are prioritizing local food, whenever possible, organic and name-brand foods and whole nutrition. They even offer vegetarian meals. In New York City, there are 19 schools that are entirely vegetarian, by choice. And city-wide, every Monday is meatless.
No Kid Hungry also emphasizes advocacy, education and public awareness, which can often mean the difference between implementing a much-needed school meal program – or not.
Watching the kids run to the coolers to grab milk, a whole grain cereal or fruit and a muffin and then head back to their seats to start the day propelled us through the rest of our day, as we returned to FEED HQ.
The knowledge that all across the country, thanks to No Kid Hungry – and now, thanks to your purchases – little ones are getting the nourishment they need, free of any shame or stigma, and therefore, getting the education they deserve, inspires us to do more.
To recap, here’s how are we – and therefore you – are getting involved:
As of 2018, every single time you buy a FEED product (with a few artisan-made exceptions that benefit the countries they were made in), you are providing funds towards both American school meal programs and global ones.
For the month of February, 2019, we are making an exception to our global model, to dedicate 100% of meals raised through your purchases to American giving. Read more about that initiative here.
Beyond shopping FEED, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved to end childhood hunger in America:
- Educate yourself – Learn more about the issue of hunger and how our giving partners are helping
- Host a FEED Supper – Rally your friends to help feed American families by hosting a dinner party
- (If you are in NYC) Join our volunteering outings – Every month, a group of volunteers meets at the FEED Shop & Cafe in DUMBO to head to nearby CHiPs, a soup kitchen and women’s shelter. New dates for 2019 are coming soon.
We’re thrilled to be evolving and adapting our dedication to ending worldwide childhood hunger, to meet those in need wherever they are and everywhere the need exists.
Together we can change the world.
To learn more about our global giving, head here.