News Roundup, September 29, 2016

Feed the Children Fights Malaria

The Feed the Children office in Uganda distributed insecticide-treated mosquito nets in the Twonokun village, Gulu district. The distribution took place in August, at Sunrise Early Learning Center.

The mosquito nets were distributed as an initiative to prevent malaria, which has been difficult for children in this area.

Feed the Children partnered with the area health officer, Apolo Grace, who informed villagers of the importance of sleeping under treated mosquito nets for malaria prevention.

According to Uganda’s 2014-15 Malaria Indicator Survey, malaria remains one of the most significant diseases in the country, causing substantial morbidity, mortality and negative socio-economic impact.

Major interventions have been undertaken as part of the country’s strategic planning effort to help bring malaria under control in the country.

The Ministry of Health, in partnership with different stakeholders, has intensified efforts to increase access to and use of long-lasting insecticidal nets, which are more durable and cost-effective than untreated nets.

High School Students Participate in 30-mile Bike Ride to Feed 400 Families

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Feed the Children joined together with 4 Kids for Kids to lend a hand to Hempstead, New York families last week. A total of 400 families took home enough food and essentials boxes to fill a semitruck at the local United Methodist Church.

Because hunger can’t be tackled alone, Feed the Children’s partner agencies — the Long Island Council of Churches, Family and Children’s Association, Catholic Charities of Rockville Centre, United Way of Long Island and the United Methodist Church of Hempstead — pre-identified the 400 families. These families received a 25-pound food box; a 10-pound box of basic essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; and a box of assorted Avon products.

The heroes of the event were four Babylon Village high schoolers who raised funds and completed a 30-mile bike ride to raise money for Feed the Children in May. Emmet Chapey of Chaminade High School and Andrew Szuchy, Jack Hartigan and Matt McGaley of Babylon High School started the 30-mile ride in East Hampton and finished it in Montauk in less than three hours. Their goal was to raise $15,000, but thanks to generous donors, they were able to surpass their goal and raise $15,770.

This event is one of many that Feed the Children has planned across the country. In Hempstead alone, nearly 22 percent of families live below the poverty line. Often, these families are unsure where they will find their next meal.

“Feed the Children strives to provide hope and resources to those without life’s essentials,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “We are honored to partner with 4 Kids for Kids in the fight to end hunger.”

400 Military Families Receive Food and Necessities

The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes joined Feed the Children to celebrate Colorado Springs military families last week. At the event, a total of 400 military and veterans’ families received food and essentials filling one semitruck at the lot across from Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence. The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes and Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence provide programs and services to military service members and their families, designed to help them with the unique challenges of military life.

The Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence helped pre-identify families at Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, and other veterans organizations. The families each received a 25-pound food box; a 10-pound box of basic essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; and a box of assorted Avon products. Volunteers were also on-site serving and assisting.

Feed the Children is proud to partner with the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes to honor military families. When organizations combine their efforts, they have a greater impact on the lives of those who sacrifice so much for our country.

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-3-24-08-pmStriking Out Hunger in the Nation’s Capital

Major League Baseball and PepsiCo stepped up to the plate with Feed the Children and community organizations in the Washington DC area last month to help strike out hunger.

Along with food and essentials, families also received Disney books, backpacks, and additional product provided by PepsiCo, Harris Teeter and Bimbo Bakeries.

Vote to Fight Hunger!

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-2-00-28-pmFeed the Children is currently in the running for the Cat in the Hat for President campaign, and we need your votes! The winning charity receives a significant donation from Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Amazon and Random House Children’s Books.

Click on the following link and cast your vote to fight hunger: http://www.seussville.com/catinhat4prez/

Votes are unlimited but must be completed by November 8. Help the Cat in the Hat fight hunger as his first order of business as the kids’ candidate for president!

News Roundup, August 22, 2016

When the Waters Rise… Feed the Children is There

Reach Out America, The Salvation Army, Operation Compassion, Convoy of Hope, Office Depot Foundation and Feed the Children have joined together to provide disaster relief to Louisiana families affected by the recent flooding.

So far, Feed the Children has provided nearly 270,000 pounds of supplies, valued at more than $400,000. The much-needed items are currently being delivered to Louisiana families via partner organizations. Historic flooding began plaguing Louisiana earlier this month. Some 13 fatalities have been reported, with tens of thousands of people requiring rescue due to flooding conditions statewide.

Supplies include disaster-relief boxes, which contain personal-care items, cleaning supplies, and Energizer portable lights, flashlights and batteries, as well as food boxes and water coolers. Niagara water provided by Feed the Children will be transported into affected areas via The Salvation Army.

“Because of the generosity of Reach Out America, The Salvation Army, Operation Compassion, Convoy of Hope and Office Depot Foundation, Feed the Children is able to aid families who need us most,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “Together we can provide assistance to the resilient residents of Louisiana.”

And we’re in it for the long haul: Feed the Children will continue working with existing partners in Louisiana and the surrounding areas to plan for continued relief and recovery efforts.

To make a gift to help those affected by disasters like the Louisiana-area floods, visit www.feedthechildren.org/disaster.

Photo: Patrick Dennis/AP

Whataburger Helps Feed Bodies, Minds and Futures

Whataburger has donated $15,000 to our Oklahoma City Teacher Store during our Season Opener of the store earlier this month. Thousands of teachers from pre-approved Title I schools were welcomed at the Teacher Store over a three-day period to shop for school supplies at no cost.

The annual event drew teachers from across Oklahoma, allowing them to fill one bag of supplies and collect an assortment of books for the new school year. Supplies included classroom essentials such as notebooks, paper and instructional materials.

“Whataburger is proud to commit $15,000 to Feed the Children for the Teacher Store,” said Whataburger Director of Operations Mark Wallace. “Our teachers are facing significant budget cuts, so it’s our hope that this money will help provide them with the supplies they need for their classrooms.”

Representatives and employees from several organizations volunteered during the event, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister; Oklahoma Principal of Excellence Price Brown; Feed the Children President and CEO J.C. Watts, Jr.; and Whataburger Director of Operations Mark Wallace and Marketing Coordinator Laura Danser.

Feed the Children opened the Teacher Store in 2009 to reach as many Pre-K through 12th-grade students as possible by providing resources and supplies to teachers in Oklahoma. Teachers from Title I schools are eligible to shop in the store once a month for free.

Feed the Children Supports Maternal Health in Kenya

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Feed the Children employees in Samburu County, Kenya, joined Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to construct a traditional community maternal health shelter known as “Manyatta” (house made of sticks and grass), to be used by pregnant women during child delivery.

The structure was built following recommendations by the CHVs and community nurses. They reported that due to cultural perceptions, pregnant mothers are opting to deliver their babies at home because they believe the local clinic is unfit for their new born babies. Mothers in Samburu believe that a Manyatta is warmer and more conducive for delivery than health facilities. Some mothers also trust Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) to assist them in the delivery process more than nurses.

Once the Manyatta facility is completed, TBA’s will be trained by nurses on sanitary, modern delivery procedures that ensure a safer delivery process for both baby and mother. This will help in increasing the deliveries assisted by a skilled practitioner and will reduce maternal deaths.

Feed the Children’s work in Samburu revolves around working in partnership with P&G, local communities, ministry of health and other partners to transform lives by improving food and nutrition security of mothers and their children. This project is aimed toward reducing maternal and child illnesses and deaths, improving access to and use of sanitation infrastructures using community-led total sanitation, reducing diarrheal cases, adopting water purification processes using P&G water purifiers.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kaiser Permanente Makes a Difference

Name: Kaiser Permanente – Print Services Team
From: Corona, CA
Volunteer Location: Ontario, CA
Volunteer Activities: Box Brigade, Sort and Prep
Volunteer Since: May 2014

Why do you volunteer with Feed the Children?
To be able to give back to the community and assist families in need.

What is your favorite part of volunteering with us?
Knowing we are making a difference in people’s lives.

How did you learn about volunteering at Feed the Children?
We researched organizations that assist children in need and came across Feed the Children. We believe in the good this organization is doing for the community and the families they help.

How has volunteering made an impact on your life?
The majority of the team are parents, and understand the need to assist children within our community. Knowing we have been blessed to have the ability and opportunity to assist others during their time of need has become a mission of our team, as well as of our business organization.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
Print Services is made up of caring and thoughtful individuals who enjoy joining forces to make an impact on the lives of others. Along with volunteering their time to assist Feed the Children as a team, many volunteer individually to support other great causes to improve our community by giving back.

News Roundup, May 9, 2016

Starkist Steps Up with Generous Gift to Feed the Children

6-2015 - CDR3008 - Del City Church of Christ Summer Feeding - Photog GThiets (20)StarKist® is joining forces with Feed the Children with a generous donation of $100,000. This gift will go a long way toward supporting our mission of making sure no child goes to bed hungry. In addition, StarKist is teaming up with Feed the Children during four community events over the next few months in Pittsburgh, Boston, New York City and Los Angeles.

“StarKist is a socially responsible company that provides healthy food for more people. One in five children goes to bed hungry in the U.S., and at StarKist we are committed to doing our part by getting our nutritious seafood products into the hands of children in need,” said Andrew Choe, StarKist President and CEO. “It’s an honor to work with the Feed the Children team. And we applaud this outstanding organization for its endless fight against hunger and its commitment to breaking the poverty cycle.”

Four community events are planned, and will kick-off in StarKist’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa. on Wednesday of this week. StarKist and Feed the Children are collaborating with FOCUS+ Pittsburgh charity to hold a community-fair style event where a truckload of food, essentials, StarKist product and more will be distributed to pre-registered attendees.

In addition to Pittsburgh, Feed the Children and StarKist will co-sponsor events in New York City (June 23), Boston (July 7), and Los Angeles (July 14) over the next couple of months, assisting local families in the area.

“Feed the Children strives to provide hope and resources to those without life’s essentials,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children President and CEO. “We are honored to partner with StarKist in the fight to end child hunger in America. Together, we can be our neighbor’s helper and truly help families in our nation’s own backyard.”

Kenya Care Groups Get Trained to Make a Difference

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Volunteer mothers who will work with Feed the Children under the Care Group Project in the slums of Kibera were recently trained on the objectives and focus of the project.

The Care Group Model is a program designed to empower a small number of staff to work with a larger number of volunteers, to help increase our reach and influence in vulnerable communities. These volunteers will provide key health and nutrition information to an even larger population of pregnant and breastfeeding women in their communities.

The project has seven promoters employed by Feed the Children. Each promoter is responsible for four care groups comprised of 10-15 lead mothers (volunteer mothers). These lead mothers will be meeting once per month in their care groups to learn key messages about health and nutrition.

During the recent training, the volunteers were taken through guidelines on how to carry out care group meetings with the mothers with whom they will interact. Participants were equipped with knowledge about the project’s core mandate and ways to go about having the meetings.

-Edna Onchiri

Truckloads of Help and Hope in Ohio

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In the United States, the roots of hunger go deep. In Columbus Ohio, for example, 22 percent of households live below the poverty level and far too many children go to bed hungry. This is why The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and Teleperformance partnered with Feed the Children for its annual Get Ready Fest™ —an event that provided 1,200 pre-identified Columbus-area families with wellness resources, food and essentials. The event took place late last month and is one of many that Feed the Children plans across the country each year to help feed bodies, minds and futures. It is made possible because of The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, the generous donation of forklifts from Harr’s Forklift Service of Columbus, and additional product transportation by Americold.

Volunteers from The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, including Malcolm Jenkins (Pro Bowler for the Philadelphia Eagles and ‘09 The Ohio State University graduate), Teleperformance, Lutheran Social Services, Columbus Urban League, Omega Psi Phi and Niagara Water were onsite to serve and assist the effort. Each family received a 25-pound box of food; a 10-pound box of much-needed essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; and a box with assorted Avon products. Get Ready Fest™ also included several community organizations providing complimentary services and products, such as children’s books and youth haircuts.

“Feed the Children strives to provide help and resources to those without life’s essentials,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children President and CEO. “We are honored to partner with The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and Teleperformance in the fight to end hunger in America.”

More community partners assisting with the event included Second Baptist Church, The Ohio State University Athletics, Omega Psi Phi, Concord Hotels, Columbus Food Bank, Campbells, Hirzel, L’Oreal, Columbus State Community College, The Ohio Academy-Paul Mitchell, Buckeye Health, 2nd and Seven Foundation, CHLOE. Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters, Veteran’s Administration, Infant Mortality Task Force, LSS Ohio Benefit Bank, Niagara Water, Cliff Bar, Disney Books, Starkist Tuna and DJ by Giovanni.

Spring Fling in Oklahoma City

20160430_120705_resizedFighting hunger is serious business, but sometimes kids just need to be kids. We recently participated in a “Spring Fling” event at Crystal Lake in Oklahoma City. We had more than 800 children in attendance, with countless volunteers paired with those young kids. The event grew out of our after-school program efforts, which serve 850 children each week over 30 sites.

With a theme of “Superheroes,” we provided children with four new Disney books (Marvel, Sophia, Doc McStuffins, etc.), plus Captain America nightlights. We’re thankful to partner Whiz Kids for helping make the event happen, and to our President, CEO and resident superhero, J.C. Watts, was attending the event as well.

News Roundup, April 25, 2016

Feed the Children and Partners Feed Massachusetts Families

Price Rite joined Feed the Children, The Salvation Army and Pepsi to lend a hand to families in Revere, Massachusetts last week. About 800 families received food and essentials filling two Feed the Children semitrucks at a local Price Rite.

All participating families were pre-identified based on need. Each received a 25-pound box of food; a 10-pound box of much-needed essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, personal-care items; and an Avon box with assorted Avon products. Families also received an additional food donation from Price Rite. Volunteers from the organizations were on site to help distribute the items to families. Community partners were also on site providing resources and information for services available to the families.

The event was one of many that Feed the Children has planned across the country to help feed bodies, minds and futures. In Revere alone, nearly 15 percent of families live below the poverty line and are unsure how they will provide their next meal.

“Feed the Children strives to provide help and resources to those without life’s essentials,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “We are honored to partner with Price Rite, The Salvation Army and Pepsi in the fight to end hunger in America.”

To support our efforts to feed hungry people in the US and abroad, click here.

Teacher Stores Partner for Excellence in Education

13002387_10154073544023798_6371972918787047875_oFeed the Children Volunteer Engagement Supervisor, Indiana DC Darlene Anderson sends along letters from staff of Elkhart Community Schools. Feed the Children serves these schools and others around the country by providing books, school supplies and other needed items through our Teacher Stores.

First we hear from April Walker, principal of Monger Elementary School:

I was just paid a visit by Rob Haworth, Superintendent of ECS.  He wanted to personally congratulate our school for being 1 of 4 schools in the district to IMPROVE results on the IREAD3 exam. His words were, “Monger knocked it out of the park.”

The 3rd grade team passed 81% of 3rd graders on the first round of IREAD (compared to last year’s 62%)… Even more exciting, our team passed 90% of our ESL students on THE FIRST ROUND (compared to last year’s 47%).  Way to go!  You should be proud.

And Nyta Tilford, who also works at Monger, adds her thanks to Feed the Children:

Thank you for the items you were able to give us to pump up all the grade 3 students a bit; they enjoyed and appreciated it. Obviously with support and love, the kids came through with flying colors. Thank you for your part in making this happen. We are all pleased with the results. Thanks again Feed the Children for always helping us to help kids.

Through our Teacher Stores, schools have the supplies they need to succeed. We’re thankful to be have such an important hand in educating the nation’s children.

To learn more about Teacher Store locations, click here.

Hope for the Homeless in Alabama

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With help from Feed the Children, Mobile County Public Schools will be able to give food, school supplies and hygiene products to thousands of homeless students.

The national organization sent an 18-wheeler to Mobile today with 1,600 backpacks full of school supplies, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other items; 6 pallets of books; and 112 cases of snack items, including granola bars, apple sauce and more.

“Many of our students don’t know where they are going to lay their head at night. They may be living in a shelter or a car or going from house to house,” said Denise Riemer, a social worker for Mobile County Public Schools who works with homeless students. Students are fed breakfast and lunch at school during the week. Riemer said these snacks will help keep them from going hungry over the weekend.

“We want them to come back to school each Monday prepared,” she said. Riemer and social workers Ciji Bendolph and Larissa Dickinson will unload the boxes and get the supplies to 3,800 Mobile County students who are classified this year as being homeless.

The Feed the Children donation was so generous this year that Riemer invited social workers from Baldwin County, Saraland, Satsuma and Chickasaw to come to the MCPSS Warehouse and take items back to their schools.

To learn more about our domestic work, click here.

Protecting the Earth, Feeding the World

13064740_10154078421753798_1259407445893506263_oLast week was Earth Day, and we’re proud to partner with a company that strives to be a good neighbor by reducing its carbon footprint. Twenty-five years ago, Beech-Nut joined us in the fight to end childhood hunger. They have been on a mission to provide honest, real, great-tasting food for babies. To date, Beech Nut has donated more than $17 million and more than 13 million pounds of baby foods to children we serve across the U.S. In addition to their incredible products, they’ve been able to reduce their carbon footprint drastically and become the only LEED-certified baby food production facility in the world. Hats off to our friends and partners at Beech Nut for their exceptional work and generosity. To learn more about our corporate partnerships, click here.

 

News Roundup, March 14, 2016

Feed the Children Expands Partnership Reach

We’ve been working for more than 35 years to make the lives of children and their families better in the United States and around the world. That means we’re always working behind the scenes, looking for ways to increase our partnerships, make our processes better and more efficient, and keep our administrative costs low. Through its network of agencies, Feed the Children distributed more than $344 million in food, essentials, educational supplies, and medicine, impacting close to 9 million individuals in the U.S. and more than 4.9 million individuals internationally.

Recently members of Feed the Children staff attended a “supply chain” conference in Dallas, where we offered a presentation entitled “Solution Based Product Donations: Keeping Unneeded Good Product Out of the Landfill and Out of Your Warehouse.” Mike Ghassali, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Corporate Donor Relations, made the presentation for us, and several Feed the Children staff attended the conference, staffed a booth with information about Feed the Children, and networked with potential partners.

Our work with corporate partners helps them serve their communities by giving them the means to donate good-quality unused products to families in need who could use these supplies. This conference helped us connect with even more potential partners and helped position us as a great choice to receive excess inventory. We also met with people who offered us their technical and programming expertise, so we can do our work even more effectively.

Image from left to right:

Chet Jones, Director of Gifts in Kind Partnerships, Corporate Donor Relations, Corporate Donor Relations
Mike Ghassali, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Corporate Donor Relations
Chris Splitt, Senior Director of Corporate Donor Relations, Corporate Donor Relations
Hogan Thomas, Senior Director of Logistics/Inventory Management, Logistics/Inventory Management
Wendy Henderson, Director of Gifts in Kind Partnerships, Corporate Donor Relations

Books for Kids

C0ACBE4B-3358-4FBC-82F4-555D4DEA4F44Half Price Books has been giving away free books to a variety of organizations during its 43-year history. In 2015, the company set a goal to give away a million books, a goal they exceeded by more than 50%. Feed the Children was honored to receive a shipment that included the millionth book! We’re grateful for the partnership with Half Price Books. The books we receive are given to children in need through our domestic programs.

To read more about the program, click here.

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Anti-Hunger Policy Conference

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced new USDA efforts to improve access to healthy foods for women, infants and children at the 2016 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference hosted by the Food Research & Action Center and Feeding America. Over the past seven years, USDA has enhanced federal nutrition programs, providing a critical safety net for millions of American children and families.

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Our own programs rely on partnership with the USDA. For example, in 2014, Feed the Children launched the Summer Food & Education Program, which partners with the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. The program combines the federal support from USDA with Feed the Children’s logistics and transportation experience to bring food and hope to children throughout Oklahoma. Through the Summer Food & Education Program, Feed the Children served approximately 195,000 meals with the help of public funds and private partners to children at 11 sites within several cities, rural communities, and Indian Tribal organizations across Oklahoma. Read more about the project here.

The conference served as a kick-off to National Nutrition Month, observed throughout March, and was attended by anti-hunger advocates from across the country.

Africa Day for School Feeding

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March 1 was the first annual Africa Day for School Feeding, an observance sponsored by the African Union Commission, AU Member States and development partners. The day, which is centered on the theme “Home Grown School Feeding: a Conduit for Africa’s Sustainable Development”, was celebrated with continent-wide activities and highlighted by series of official events in the Nigerien capital, Niamey.

Read more about the program here.

School feeding is at the center of our organization’s efforts in Africa. In Kenya, Feed the Children partners with the Ministry of Education and the World Food Program (WFP) to provide one meal a day to school-going children in the urban slums of Nairobi and in Kajiado Counties. The meal (mostly githeri – a mixture of maize and beans) helps keep kids in school and also keeps them productive in class.

In Tanzania, children in Kisarawe District receive mid-morning porridge fortified with vitamins and minerals thanks to Feed the Children. The porridge provides a strong incentive to keep children in school and helps them focus, as some of the kids do not have breakfast from home. Feeding children each school day creates a better learning environment.

In Uganda, Feed the Children provides two meals a day (mid-morning porridge and lunch) to children in two kindergarten classes located in Northern Uganda’s Gulu District. These are crucial meals for these children; the majority do not have breakfast at home, so the meals attract kids to attend school.

To learn more about our work around the world, click here.

Backpacks and Hope in Arizona

7-2015 CDR 3063 New HELP Backpack Photos -36-Feed the Children provided more than 2,000 backpacks to Marana Unified School District, Amphitheater School District, Tucson Unified School District and Sunnyside Unified School District on Wednesday, March 9. The backpacks, containing school supplies and snacks, will be distributed throughout the school year to students experiencing hardship.

Feed the Children has distributed more than 772,000 backpacks to American children who are homeless. Our Homeless Education and Literacy Program, or H.E.L.P., provided close to 65,000 backpacks to children in fiscal year 2014 alone.

News Roundup, February 24, 2016

Relief for Flint

In the wake of the Flint water crisis, Feed the Children has been mobilizing quickly and effectively, bringing together a variety of partners to provide immediate help to the area.

In April 2014, Flint’s water supply was diverted from Detroit to the Flint River. This led to the highly corrosive Flint River causing aged water pipes to leach lead into the public water supply, creating a health danger. In January 2016, Flint was declared to be in a state of emergency by Governor Rick Snyder.

Thanks to corporations, congregations, non-profits, and numerous individuals working together with Feed the Children, residents of Flint are receiving provisions to provide relief in the wake of this tragedy. A few recent examples:

Nature Made (Pharmavite) has donated and transported supplies of Vitamelts from Ontario, CA to Flint. The Children’s Dream Center received this donation and is working to distribute it to residents. The Vitamelts contain Vitamin C, which helps reduce the absortion rate of lead in the body. Medical experts estimate that some 12,000 children may have been exposed to lead poisoning in the town.

12654477_10153854083818798_2261554385516104918_nNiagara Bottling, LLC has been an invaluable partner to help alleviate the urgent crisis in Flint. The company has generously donated 28.5 semitruck loads of 0.5-liter bottled drinking water for relief efforts. This equates to 30,780 cases, 738,720 bottles, and more than 369 tons of water. The water donated by Niagara Bottling, LLC is being delivered to a warehouse in Flint during the next few weeks, where it will be distributed to the general public.

A number of organizations are working to get donated water delivered to Flint. Crossings Community Church and Acts 2 United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City are sponsoring transportation costs for five semitrucks full of water. This water is being delivered to community-outreach centers in Flint thanks to the generosity of these congregations.

“At Crossings we are committed to resolving the deadly water crisis in the third world. It would only stand to reason that we would follow the example of Jesus by extending fresh, clean water to our neighbors in Michigan as well,” said Pam Milligan, Pastor of Missions and Outreach Ministries at Crossings Community Church.

“Acts 2 has been providing clean drinking water around the world in places like El Salvador and Guatemala by putting in water wells for years. We never dreamed our own brothers and sisters in the United States would need it, too,” said Dr. Mark Foster, Founding Pastor, Acts 2 UMC. “We are glad we can help. Our hearts our broken that we would need to provide clean water for citizens of one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Pray for good government.”

Living Faith Christian Center in Baton Rouge, LA has also joined forces with Feed the Children by sponsoring the costs of transporting water, donated by Niagara Bottling, LLC. Thanks to Living Faith, one semitruck of water will roll into Flint in the coming days.

“In life, we can take for granted the bare necessities that we need to live our everyday lives. It’s not until we are confronted with a crisis that we realize just how important these things are. The needs of the people of Flint, Michigan must be met, and another life cannot be lost to such a tragic event,” said Bishop Raymond W. Johnson of Living Faith Christian Center.

Dray Technologies Inc. is also working with Feed the Children to provide disaster relief to Flint-area families. The company is covering all transportation costs for 13 semitruck loads of six-gallon jugs of drinking water, donated by Niagara Bottling, LLC, to support Feed the Children’s relief efforts.

It will take an estimated one million bottles of water per day to fulfill the basic water needs of the Flint community. The need is great and the situation is dire—we’re thankful to be a part of the solution, and you can be too. To contribute to this cause, please contact Feed the Children at 1-800-627-4556, or Kevin Richardson, Director of Church and Volunteer Engagement of Feed the Children, at 405-945-4196.

 

Backpacks Provide a Leg Up

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Americold and Feed the Children provided 500 backpacks to students at Seaborn Lee Elementary School in Atlanta earlier this month.

About 300 of the company’s associates assembled the backpacks for distribution, containing school supplies and basic hygiene essentials. Dozens if not hundreds of similar backpack builds are happening around the country in conjunction with Feed the Children’s H.E.L.P., Homeless Education and Literacy Program. This is Americold’s second program contribution.

The backpacks will afford local Atlanta, GA, students an equal opportunity to succeed in the classroom, creating a brighter future for those who otherwise may not have had enough to continue in school.

“In our first year of partnership, we’re proud to have ‘pick ‘n’ packed’ 500 backpacks with school supplies for Atlanta children,” said Fred Boehler, Americold’s President and CEO. “We also donated more than $30,000 in food transportation services, with 20 full semitruck loads supporting the Home Front Harvest and Feed the Children summer meal programs.” Americold hopes to build on these statistics in this second year of partnership.

“We are always delighted when local organizations form partnerships with our schools to enhance student learning,” said Kenneth Zeff, Interim Superintendent for Fulton County Schools. “Not only are you providing a gift that is useful right now, you are also inspiring students to think about the future.”

“Since the launch of our H.E.L.P. program in 2006, Feed the Children has distributed more than 772,000 backpacks to homeless students in America,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children President and CEO. “It’s because of partners like Americold that this vital effort is possible. Together, we can help these children succeed and work toward the greater goal of breaking the cycle of poverty.”

If you’d like to help give a child a good start to school with a backpack, visit our gift catalog.

 

 

 

News Roundup, February 8, 2016

Clean Water for Flint

Many of us have followed the news coming out of Flint Michigan with growing alarm and concern for the residents there. Feed the Children has partnered with Teleperformance, Niagara Bottling, LLC, and Children’s Dream Center to put action behind those concerns. Teleperformance sponsored the transportation costs for three semitrucks full of water. The water was donated by Niagara Bottling, LLC and delivered to the Children’s Dream Center late last month.

Teleperformance and its employees are longtime supporters of Feed the Children and its ongoing disaster relief efforts. They sponsored this delivery to help aid those affected by this major public health emergency.

“On behalf of Teleperformance and our volunteers, we are very grateful to be working with Feed the Children and Children’s Dream Center to help provide relief to families touched by this recent catastrophe,” said Kerry Black, Director of Corporate Human Resources for Teleperformance, U.S.A. “It is through collaborations like this that we are able to make a tangible difference during a time of great need.”

“Because of the generosity and readiness of Teleperformance, Niagara Bottling, LLC and the Children’s Dream Center, Feed the Children is able to aid families who need help during this crisis,” said J.C. Watts, Feed the Children President and CEO. “Together we can provide assistance to the resilient residents of Flint.”

A Pat on the Back for Our Truckers

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The truck drivers who make up FTC Transportation, Inc. are the backbone of our community events around the country. They transport food and needed supplies to people who need them, when they need them. Thanks to their dedication and commitment, we’re able to serve more than ten million hungry people each year.

We’re thrilled these dedicated workers have been recognized for their excellence by Best Fleets to Drive For, an industry group. Launched in the summer of 2008 by CarriersEdge and Truckload Carriers Association, the Best Fleets initiative runs through the fall and winter each year. The program identifies trends, shares best practices, and publicly recognizes the for-hire carriers providing the best workplaces for their drivers.

Congratulations to the FTC Transportation team! Check out our video that heralds these often unsung heroes.

Whataburger—What a Partner

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One of our greatest skills is bringing together diverse partners—businesses, non-profits, governmental agencies, donors, and volunteers—to help create a world where no child goes to bed hungry. We couldn’t do a fraction of what we do without these various groups coming together. We’re grateful to Whataburger for their recent support of our work. Thank you!

Fervent Tour Partners with Feed the Children

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Speaking of partners, our artist program is one of our flagship partnership efforts. Throughout the year we work with musicians and other performers to share the good news about what Feed the Children is doing. Artists show their support from the stage.

We’re excited to partner on the Fervent Tour featuring Priscilla Shirer and Anthony Evans, now performing in venues around the country. We’re looking for volunteers to get the word out about Feed the Children at these and other events. Sign up here, and we’ll give you everything you need to help out.

H.E.L.P. for the Homeless

12628484_10153841956483798_8126958890110323566_oSucceeding in school as a homeless child is tough. Kids who are homeless are three times more likely to drop out of school than kids with homes. But we know education is the key to breaking the cycle and ensuring a better life. That’s why we created H.E.L.P.: the Homeless Education & Literacy Program.

H.E.L.P. is one of the few programs of its kind in the nation. Since its inception in 2006, the program has focused on providing children who are homeless with backpacks and basic supplies they need in order to be successful in school. Recently one of our friends who works as a Homeless/Foster Care Liaison in Texas shared this message about our work:

“I wanted to extend our heartfelt appreciation for the items you sent us for our homeless students. The students love the high quality, beautiful products. These types of products are items that our students just cannot afford as many are ‘couch surfers.’ What you do matters and makes a difference in our students’ lives.”

Want to make a difference? It’s easy and costs just $20 for a backpack and supplies. Click here.

News Roundup, January 11, 2016–Thank You Edition

One of Feed the Children’s greatest strengths is our ability to bring partners together—corporations, philanthropic organizations, non-profits, and artists—to help fight hunger here in the U.S. and around the world. Today’s blog roundup celebrates just a few of those partnerships. Thank you one and all! And be sure to let these organizations know on social media how much you appreciate their support of our work.

Steph Curry: MVP of Our Hearts

Golden State Warriors All-Star guard and NBA MVP Stephen Curry and his family once again teamed up with us to provide support to 400 local Oakland families for the holidays. (See featured photo above.) With financial backing from the Stephen Curry Foundation and the Warriors Community Foundation, the Curry family personally distributed to each family a 25-pound food box; a 10-pound box of basic essentials including shampoo, conditioner, lotion and personal-care items; and a box of assorted Avon products. The event was held at Beebe Memorial Cathedral and was the third year the Curry family and the Warriors partnered with us to provide Bay Area families in need with food and goods during the holidays.

This event is part of the Warriors’ Season of Giving community outreach initiative and the NBA Cares Season of Giving league-wide campaign, as Warriors players, coaches and community ambassadors participates in events throughout November and December to brighten the lives of Bay Area families and youth this holiday season.

Saying Hello to Hello Products

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We’re tremendously excited about our new partnership with Hello Products. They’re providing more than 50,000 tubes and bottles of much-needed toothpaste and mouthwash products to families we serve. These items have already been added to the 10-pound essentials boxes being distributed around the U.S. beginning January 2016. We’re thrilled to be working with an organization that’s dedicated to defeating hunger and making the world a better, friendlier place. Miles of smiles to you, friends!

Artists Bring the Love

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Last month’s KLOVE Christmas Tour was full of great music and great enthusiasm for Feed the Children, particularly our child sponsorship program. Pictured is Warren Barfield making his appeal for child sponsors to a large crowd at the Denver event. All told, the tour visited sixteen cities and spread the word to thousands of fans, many of whom made a commitment to sponsor a child.

We’re so thankful to the generous artists who give their talent and their hearts to help kids be kids!

PepsiCo and Frito-Lay: Helping Kids Be Kids Since 2009

We celebrate our long-standing partnership with PepsiCo and Frito-Lay. Since 2009, thousands of volunteers have joined together with us to provide more than 53,200 families with food and daily necessities.

In 2010, Detroit was home to one of the largest Feed the Children events. Sue Brewster, Frito-Lay Senior Customer Service Manager and seven-time Feed the Children event volunteer, remembers it well. “It was our first year in Detroit and we ambitiously set to serve 4,000 families,” recalled Sue.  “What was originally schedule for 4-hour event was extended many hours longer until we saw the final family served.”

In 2015 alone, our combined contributions reached 8,400 families across nine cities.  Check out the infographic for more.

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Making Dreams Come True

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During the Christmas holidays, hundreds of children and coaches came together in Oklahoma City to provide holiday gifts for the 3rd Annual Xtreme Dream Toy Drive. With more than 30 teams participating in the Dream Athletics, Inc. holiday basketball tournament, they were able to provide hundreds of toys for children. We’re so thankful to be receiving this generous donation from Dream Athletics and even more thankful for the spirit of generosity present this season.  

A Gift from the Heart

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We are immensely honored to receive this generous gift from the estate of Daisy Stacks in memory of her daughter, Nehoma Fleming. Daisy’s kindness will continue to bless children and families around the world by providing food, health, water, disaster aid and education in the communities we serve. Pictured with the check are David L. Drake, Daisy Stacks’s cousin; Bob Brown, Director of Planned Giving; and John Frick, Vice President of Church and Volunteer Engagement. To learn more about Planned Giving to Feed the Children, visit our website.

Serving Those Who Serve

We couldn’t be prouder of our work to support our servicemen and women and their families. Our Homefront Harvest program brought countless partners and sponsors together and had a huge impact. But don’t take our word for it:

Homefront Harvest Wrap Up Info Graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Roundup, December 28, 2015

Bikers with a Big Heart

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Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. recently presented a check for $31,373 to Feed the Children as part of its Ninth Annual Feed the Children Charity Day at the company’s Cypress, CA, headquarters.

The money was raised through the ‘hard work and generosity of its employees, according to Yamaha.

Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., raises money for Feed the Children through employee donations, special dealer fundraising activities, and direct corporate donations from Yamaha’s customer satisfaction team. The company’s Customer Satisfaction Survey program makes a donation for each survey returned by a Yamaha Motorsports customer.

“Feed the Children is proud to partner with Yamaha Motor Corporation,” said Travis Arnold, Feed the Children Interim CEO/President and COO. “We know that, when we combine our efforts, we will have a greater impact on the lives of families who need us most–right here in America.”

Star Touring And Riding (S.T.A.R.) volunteers were on hand at the event to help deliver donated food and supplies to the local Feed the Children office at the end of the day.

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Feed the Children Headquarters Provides Hands-on Help

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“We were going to only have sandwiches on Christmas day…”
“This food is saving our lives…”
“I walked 4 miles to get here…”
“We live in this car…”

These are just a few personal stories we heard at our distribution event in Oklahoma City.

Thanks to a generous gift from the Elizabeth Stevens estate, we were able to distribute a semitruck full of food and essentials to help over 400 Oklahoma families in need earlier this month. And, a very special thanks to Mid First Bank for providing warm hats and a helping hand in the cold.

Families from Hilldale Elementary School were the recipients of the food and supplies, which included a 25-pound food box; a 10-pound box of basic essentials like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and personal-care items; a box of assorted Avon products, as well as blankets, backpacks, Disney books, and hats from MidFirst Bank.

“One hundred percent of our students come from poverty,” said Hilldale Elementary Principal Price Brown. “We’re always looking for opportunities that make sure our students are able to enjoy holidays and feel like other kids.”

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A Very Special Graduation

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The Dorina Kal Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) in Uganda held a graduation ceremony for eleven kids moving on from kindergarten to Class 1.

The event, held last month, was attended by parents, teachers and community members, all of whom were as excited as the kids themselves. The little ones dressed up in convocation gowns and wore happy faces as they strode in confidence. Each child received a certificate of kindergarten completion that would allow them admission to class one. Feed the Children gave the kids books and pencils.

During their speeches, community leaders counseled parents on the importance of education. Feed the Children’s representative, Acire Mugisha, also spoke, urging parents to continue nurturing their kids so they can realize and achieve their dreams.

Feed the Children’s partnership with Dorina Kal ECDC goes back to early 2013, when we first engaged with the community. We later constructed classrooms to host kindergarten children in Pabbo Sub County in Northern Uganda, then began providing mid-morning porridge and lunch.  The meals are crucial, since a majority of the children do not have breakfast at home—the meals also attract kids to attend school.

In helping kids to be kids, and in an effort to create a conducive learning environment for young learners, Feed the Children also supported the center with playing equipment like seesaws, swings, and slides. We also drilled a shallow well (borehole) in the kindergarten compound, which serves the kids in school as well as the surrounding community to provide for clean water when the seasonal streams dry up during the dry season.

Feed the Children also promotes health practices like washing hands with soap, and we constructed a drainable latrine at the center to promote good hygiene practices.  We worked closely with the local government, who inspected the facility to ensure quality standards were adhered to before kids used the latrines.

Feed the Children also promotes kitchen gardens; the school grows vegetable which are used to supplement meals provided by Feed the Children. kids now have a balanced diet sourced from the garden.

Congratulations to the children and their families—may the good work in this community continue!

-Edna Onchiri

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Food and Fun in Phoenix… and Beyond

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PepsiCo celebrated its third annual Feeding Phoenix Event earlier this month, bringing food, hygiene, and Avon products to 800 families in the area. PepsiCo employees served as volunteers for the event, working with partner agencies Phoenix Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army.

Additional partners brought holiday cheer to the kids in attendance. JAKKS Toys provided toys for the children, and First Book made sure kids left the event with a book to call their own.

But the generosity doesn’t stop in Phoenix. We’ve had a busy month ensuring families have a happy holidays, with food distribution events in Nashville; Jamaica, NY; and Blytheville, AR.

And in Unadilla, GA, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan joined the effort, helping provide some 400 families with food and supplies. Ragan was the highest bidder for a hauler full of food at the Waltrip Brothers Charity Championship event last month.

“I am excited to partner with Feed the Children and The Lord’s Pantry to help provide meals for 400 families in my hometown of Unadilla and Dooly County,” Ragan said. “During the Waltrip Brothers Charity Championship event, I met the Feed the Children group and learned how they can impact a community like mine. During this Christmas season, it will be a blessing to provide help for families in need.”

You are an indispensable part of this work. Donate now so we can continue helping kids be kids, and creating a world where no child goes to bed hungry.

Click a “Like,” Help a Child

Today we bring you a guest post from our friends at Solar Shield, and an easy opportunity to help kids across the U.S.! Read on…

The U.S. is a wealthy and plentiful country, but nearly 16 million American children wouldn’t know it. These kids live without many of life’s essentials, including food.  And it’s not just poor children who are going hungry. There are many families who live paycheck to paycheck or barely above poverty, to whom it only takes a hospital bill, an unexpected home repair or an interruption in utilities service due to late payment to force them to choose between two necessities. Food often loses.

Feed the Children’s vision is to create a world where no child goes to bed hungry, and they are committed to providing hope and resources for those without life’s essentials. This is easier said than done.  It takes many who are willing to pool their resources and expertise to work together for change.

Over the years, Feed the Children has recognized that the need goes beyond food. Many families also can’t buy other non-food essentials like clothing, soap, detergent, medicines, bedding and other items. This is why Feed the Children distributes essentials along with food, because they know that something as basic as a new toothbrush goes a long way toward keeping a child healthy and happy.

Solar Shield, the original and leading brand of fits overs and clip-on sunglasses, recognizes the importance of helping kids to be healthy and happy kids, without the worry of food or other necessities. As a sunglass company, Solar Shield’s vision is for kids to be able to play outdoors without damaging their eyes and to enable children to grow up with good eye-health habits. Kids get three times the annual sun exposure that adults do, and their young eyes are especially susceptible to UV-related harm. Unlike the mature lens of an adult eye, a child’s ocular lens cannot successfully filter out UV rays and more radiation reaches their retinas. Fortunately, the solution for protecting children’s eyes from UV exposure and damage is an easy one. They can wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection every day.

In an effort to make a difference, Solar Shield has partnered with Feed the Children through the “Like Us to Share a Pair” campaign. For every ‘like’ Solar Shield receives on Facebook during the campaign, they will donate a pair of sunglasses or reading glasses to Feed the Children to include with food donations.

The need is real and urgent. Donate to Feed the Children and “Like” the Solar Shield Facebook page and make a difference in children’s lives.