Feeding America Launches "Pack 'til They're Back!"

Chicago, Illinois
August 22, 2012

Feeding America’s BackPack Program distributes more than 33 million meals each year

This back to school season, Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization, calls attention to the problem of child hunger in the United States and promotes its BackPack Program, which puts food directly on the tables of children in need, with the “Pack ‘til They’re Back!” campaign. “Pack ‘til They’re Back!” will raise awareness of both child hunger and the BackPack Program throughout August and September while ensuring that kids at risk of hunger have the food they need during weekends and school holidays.

In addition to being prepared to serve more than 280,000 children at risk of hunger across the United States, participating food banks will write guest posts on the Feeding America blog, helping to describe the need and highlight the positive effects of the BackPack Program in their communities. Feeding America has also updated its Child Hunger Newsroom, a dynamic resource for media reporters and bloggers to learn the facts about child hunger and how Feeding America food banks work to combat it in local communities across the United States. Included in the Child Hunger Newsroom are videos, images and infographics about child hunger and the BackPack Program. It also includes a social media guide for bloggers and other social media influencers interested in writing about the BackPack Program.

“The insidious effects of hunger expand well beyond the child who struggles daily for his or her next nutritious meal. Hunger significantly impacts how kids grow and learn,” said Matt Knott, COO and interim president and CEO of Feeding America. “Feeding America encourages everyone to play a role throughout the back to school season and beyond in raising awareness around the issue of child hunger and getting involved in your community.”

Since 2006, Feeding America’s BackPack Program has grown from a newly approved national program to now include more than 160 Feeding America food banks serving more than 280,000 children each year at more than 6,000 BackPack sites across all 50 of the United States. Much of the growth in the program comes thanks to support from Feeding America Mission Partner C&S Wholesale Grocers headquartered in Keene, New Hampshire. C&S has invested more than $1 million in Feeding America to support national efforts to fight child hunger and build capacity for the BackPack Program.

“The fact that 1 in 6 children in our country don’t have enough food,” said Gina Goff, C&S Senior Director of Community Involvement, “or enough nutritious food is not right. While we’re placing attention on getting kids ready to learn, it’s important that we do something so that hunger doesn’t get in the way.”

“We’re pleased to have support from partners like C&S Wholesale Grocers, who have helped us grow and expand the BackPack Program, including raising awareness of child hunger through outreach initiatives like “Pack ‘til They’re Back!”” said Karrie Denniston, vice president of national programs at Feeding America. “I’m proud of the work that food banks, schools and dedicated volunteers do to get nutritious, easy-to-prepare food into the backpacks of children in need to take home on weekends and school vacations.”

As shown by Feeding America’s recent study, Map the Meal Gap, one in six Americans struggles with hunger, including one in five children who live in food-insecure households.

Everyone can help put a stop to child hunger. Here are a few ways to get involved.

  • Volunteer and donate at your local food bank. Use our Food Bank Locator to find the Feeding America food bank nearest you: http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx
  • Watch, “like” and share videos of children and families helped by the BackPack Program by visiting Feeding America’s Child Hunger Newsroom.
  • Start a food drive in your local community that focuses on child-friendly foods in high demand (i.e. peanut butter, fruit cups, canned soup, etc.)
  • Donate funds to Feeding America at http://www.feedingamerica.org. For every $1 donated, Feeding America can secure eight meals on behalf of local food banks.
  • Raise awareness of child hunger and the BackPack Program in your local community by reaching out to friends and family through community organizations and social media like Facebook and Twitter

About Feeding America

Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate.  Together we can solve hunger. Visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.

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About C&S Wholesale Grocers

C&S Wholesale Grocers of Keene, N.H. is the largest food wholesaler and according to Forbes magazine, the 9th largest privately held company in the United States. The company distributes food to supermarkets, retail stores and military bases across the country. Currently, C&S serves about 3,900 stores from more than 50 locations in 12 states. Among our customers are many of America's best known companies, including Stop & Shop, Giant of Carlisle, Giant of Landover, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P), Ralphs, Safeway and Target.

C&S community involvement programs support initiatives to fight hunger and to promote the health and enrichment of communities that are homes to the company's employees and facilities. To learn more: http://community.cswg.com.

Contact(s):

Ross Fraser
Feeding America
312.641.6422

©2014 Feeding America. All rights reserved.

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Other images are models for illustrative representation purposes only.

Feeding America is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit recognized by the IRS.