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2014 Spotlight Gala Awards — Nonprofit

ConAgra Foods Foundation has been selected to receive the 2014 Spotlight Gala Award for Non-Profits. ConAgra Foods Foundation has been selected for their commitment to ending child hunger.  The Foundation has worked to address child hunger for over 20 years and has recently launched a new effort to end hunger in the Omaha metro area.  In spite of being in the heart of agricultural country, 1 in 8 Nebraska households remain food insecure, meaning that they don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.  ConAgra recognizes the impact that hunger can have on a child’s health, development and education and is committed to addressing this issue.

What is the ConAgra Foods Foundation doing locally to address child hunger?

ConAgra recently undertook a comprehensive research study to find effective ways to end hunger in our own community and is looking to end hunger for at least 3,000 kids locally over the next three years. Some of the priorities identified through the research involve better leveraging existing resources to address hunger.

Photo by James Emery – Vegetables at 5?

A significant part of the effort is helping to ensure that more kids eat breakfast. We know that breakfast plays a significant role in a child’s overall health and can also impact a child’s academic achievement.  The school breakfast program, one of the most cost effective ways of ensuring lower income kids have access to breakfast, is significantly underutilized in Nebraska.  In order to ensure more school kids are starting their day off with breakfast, ConAgra has worked through Hunger Free Heartland to offer grants to schools who agree to switch to alternative models of serving breakfast that have been shown to increase participation.  To date, 24 schools have received grants to increase their breakfast participation.

Although school breakfast programs are part of the solution, we know that these same kids are at risk for hunger during the times that they are not in school.  To that end, ConAgra is also helping to support the expansion of programs that are able to offer kids food after school and in the summer.

Another significant part of ConAgra’s efforts involves the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.  SNAP is one of the most effective tools for addressing hunger by providing families with the ability to purchase foods that they would otherwise be unable to afford.  In Nebraska, more than half of SNAP participants are kids.   Part of ConAgra’s plan to end hunger in our community involves providing additional resources to help eligible families enroll in the SNAP program.

How does ConAgra Foods Foundation align with our mission?

We know that child hunger is damaging to a child’s health and academic achievement.  As a leader in the food industry, the ConAgra Foods Foundation brings significant resources to help address child hunger by better leveraging and expanding on existing community resources.  ConAgra’s commitment to using research to find ways to address and end hunger in our community is a valuable asset for Nebraska kids.

The 2014 Spotlight Gala will be held on Saturday, September 13th.  Click here for tickets or additional information.  

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