Introducing Childhood Hunger Initiative!

As you are all aware, Roadrunner Food Bank has developed a new strategic direction: FEED, SEED, and LEAD.  A key part of the new direction is to feed more households effectively and with a greater impact on overall food insecurity.  We have looked at our programs and evaluated whether they fit with our strategy and, if not, what we could do to align them.

We spent countless hours evaluating our Food for Kids (FFK) program and decided that after 15 years, it was time to evolve.  After hearing multiple reports from our FFK coordinators about entire families sharing the backpack and examining best practices of sister food banks across the nation, we have decided that the best way to feed a hungry child is to feed a hungry family.  Thus, the FFK program has evolved into our Childhood Hunger Initiative (CHI).Through the CHI program, we will provide food to children and their families in a variety of ways, ranging from a weekend backpack for situations where parents may be absent or the family has no means of cooking food, to a monthly farmers-market style distribution where families can choose the items that are appropriate for their homes.  This will ensure that we provide enough food for the entire family.  In addition to providing adequate food, this program increases access to healthy perishable foods such as dairy, grains, and fresh produce — ultimately improving nutrition and overall health for the students’ homes.

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A Request for Proposal (RFP) was sent on Monday, March 10,to 146 elementary schools in our 16-county service area that qualify based on the number of students participating in free and reduced lunch programs.  Obviously we cannot accommodate 146 schools, each eligible school was asked to complete the RFP and return it to us with information about why they need this program.  We then had a selection committee review the submitted proposals to determine which schools will benefit most from the CHI program, and we will start the program in August 2014 at the beginning of the school year.

Through this change, we believe we will double the pounds of food being sent home to households with children and reach many more families.  We are very excited about this new initiative to help solve hunger in our state and hope you will be too!

Alissa Barnes is Director of Community Initiatives for Roadrunner Food Bank.

2 Responses to Introducing Childhood Hunger Initiative!

  1. Yvonne Schreck says:

    I work at Susie Rayos Marmon Elem. and would like to know if our school responded to your RFP. I sure hope they did!! If not, please let me know what I can do to get the ball rolling on this.

    Thank you for caring for our students!

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