Fuel for Food Banks Makes Summer a Time “On”

JULY 16, 2014--ATLANTA - With school out for summer, many American families will face the challenge of making sure their children don’t go hungry. In addition, food banks often deal with a shortage of donations during the warmer months.

To help highlight these issues and encourage giving, the National Peanut Board has launched Fuel for Food Banks. The program honors leaders of community hunger initiatives with grants totaling $9,000 to benefit food banks of their choice and $1,500 to help fund the community leaders’ personal hunger initiatives.

“America’s peanut farmers have a long commitment to helping individuals and organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry,” said Bob Parker, National Peanut Board president and CEO. “With Fuel for Food Banks, we’ve selected three individuals who identified innovative ways to tackle food insecurity. We hope to inspire others to see how a little can go a long way to help provide food for those who need it most.”

According to Feeding America, one in six Americans struggles with hunger. Peanut butter is the number one food donated to food banks in the U.S., and is a top requested item because of its convenience and nutritional value for families. The nutrient density and shelf stability of peanut butter, combined with its affordability, make it a popular donation choice for families, as well. On average, peanut butter costs 16 cents per ounce, which is enough peanut butter to make one sandwich for someone in need.*

“Summer time is always tough for Golden Harvest, but it is even tougher for the families we serve,” said Nathan Krupa of Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta, Ga. “Summer means the end of school and along with it the end of free and reduced lunches that many children in poverty depend on. Our service numbers always spike during the summer months because of the increased financial pressure on families, while at the same time, we have to cope with a severe drop in individual donations.”

Each honoree approaches hunger issues in their communities in a unique way. With a grant from the National Peanut Board, they can do even more to help extinguish hunger.

Mom (and Kid) Fight Hunger Together

Katie Workman has been involved in the fight against hunger for decades.  For 10 years, she served on the Board of City Harvest, New York’s largest food rescue. Workman is a member of the Social Council Team for No Kid Hungry and taught cooking classes for Share Our Strength and City Harvest to help people learn healthy cooking skills. She volunteered in soup kitchens and her 11-year-old son, Charlie Freilich, created a dine-around fundraising event in April 2013 to raise money to benefit Homes for the Homeless and City Harvest, which generated $4,000.  Workman selected City Harvest to receive her $3,000 donation that will help the organization collect and deliver 12,500 pounds of food.

School Nutrition Director Goes Above and Beyond the School Year

Donna Martin’s school system was the first in Georgia to have a summer feeding program. Buses travel all over the county to serve students meals for eight weeks while school is out.  Her school system has achieved Healthier U.S. School Challenge Awards for all three elementary schools, with the middle school at the gold level. In addition, Martin was asked to sit at First Lady Michelle Obama’s round table discussion, at the White House, on serving healthy meals for children.  Martin selected Golden Harvest Food Bank to receive her $3,000 donation, which will fund approximately 9,000 meals.

Student is Driven to Solve Hunger

Eight-year-old William Winslow saw a problem and provided a solution. Now he’s known as the Food Drive Kid. Winslow’s first drive, in February 2013, netted $305 and collected 1,400 pounds of food. He most recently collected more than 3,300 pounds of food and over $3,000 in donations to support the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Backpack Buddies program serving Wake and surrounding counties in North Carolina. His donations will help feed 16 children for an entire school year. Winslow selected the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to receive his $3,000 donation, which equates to 24,000 pounds of rescued food.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, Average retail food and energy prices http://www.bls.gov/ro3/apmw.htm

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