Thursday, April 30th – Today, Urban School Food Alliance (“Alliance”) announced that it has received grants to jump-start its Student Emergency Food Access Fund and invited other funders to join in supporting 12 of the largest districts in the country in distributing hundreds of thousands of meals daily to students and their families. This fund is critical to support the 22 million+ kids who rely on school meals, especially during a global pandemic.
The Alliance gratefully acknowledged the seed funding from The Rockefeller Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to promote the well-being of humanity, and support from No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end child hunger in America. The Alliance also urged other foundations, corporations and individuals to join them in raising money for the Student Emergency Food Access Fund. In addition, the Alliance is also a beneficiary of America’s Food Fund to aid in the efforts to combat the growing food security problem in America.
“Addressing the food security crisis exposed by COVID-19 means making sure every family in America can access the nutritious food they need,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “We are proud to support the Urban School Food Alliance in this essential work.”
In order to meet the demands of the pandemic meal operations across the nation’s school districts, the Alliance anticipates a total loss of $38.9 Million per week according to Katie Wilson, executive director of the Alliance. “Schools have become communities’ emergency feeding sites and these districts are operating without any indication of reimbursement for essential costs” says Ms. Wilson. “Every one of these schools that has their doors open are literally heroes on the front line.” These schools have quickly adapted and remain nimble to meet the growing needs of students and families, but they are in desperate need of funds to remain in operation indefinitely.
The Alliance’s Student Emergency Food Access Fund will be deployed in the following ways:
- Transportation equipment to ensure food is safely transported and distributed to families who do not have access to transportation to pick up meals during this time. This is particularly important for homeless students living in shelters and other areas without transportation.
- Safety and staff support to meet needs for hiring and paying staff overtime, as well as taking necessary considerations to provide staff proper protection.
- Suitable meals for grab and go models for the full family. Grab and go meals require additional resources and preparation to individually package meals and ensure food safety when not eaten immediately.
“No Kid Hungry is working with schools and organizations across America to make sure children are fed both during this crisis and in its aftermath. In supporting the Urban School Food Alliance, we are able to efficiently support programs that can reach millions of students in twelve of the largest districts in the United States,” states Tom Nelson, President and CEO of Share our Strength, the organization behind No Kid Hungry. “The road to economic recovery begins with families having the food they need for their kids to thrive.”
Details on how organizations or individuals can donate and help Urban School Food Alliance meet their goals in reaching more students who need nutrition can be found at https://www.urbanschoolfoodalliance.org/donate/.