How can you take part in reducing child hunger? Find out here in a interview with Kori Reed of the ConAgra Foods Foundation
Nearly one in four children in the United States doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from - that’s nearly 16 million kids. Although this number dropped 1 million from last year (17 million food insecure children according to the USDA), ConAgra Foods, in partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, is continuing the Child Hunger Ends Herecampaign. Kori Reed, the executive director of the ConAgra Foods Foundation tells SupermarketGuru about the efforts.
SG: September and on into the fall is Hunger Action Month, what has the ConAgra Foods Foundation been doing to help in the fight against child hunger?
KR: ConAgra Foods continues its Child Hunger Ends Here campaign this fall, working with Feeding America and Schools Fight Hunger, to get schools and families involved in a large food drive. There are two components to the food drive, collecting UPC codes and collecting food items. So throughout the 2011/2012 school year we can collect an additional 5 million meals!
SG: There is some encouraging new data from the USDA in regards to food insecurity; can you tell us a little about this?
KR: Well, the good news is that we saw a slight decrease in the child hunger numbers, the USDA data from last year reported 17 million children food insecure, and this year we saw that number drop to 16 million. However, I do want to put that in perspective, 16 million children is more that the populations of Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles combined. So it is still an incredible problem, however we know were are building some momentum to make a difference.
SG: Why is child hunger such an important issue to ConAgra Foods as a company?
KR: Well, child hunger is something that we have been working on since 1993; it’s really an invisible issue in the US. When you talk about millions of children throughout the year who don’t know where the next meal is coming from, it is a real issue that we as a food company take very seriously. ConAgra Foods and the ConAgra Foundation have been working together to invest in this issue. The Foundation has invested more than $35 million, the company has donated more than 275 million pounds of food, and last year alone we did a million meals a month. So our Child Hunger Ends Here campaign is building on top of that million meals a month to continue to make a difference for these kids
SG: Is there anything consumers can do to help the cause?
KR: Yes definitely! We are very excited about this fall, the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign continues, you can go to www.childhungerendshere.com and register your school and collect UPC codes from ConAgra Foods products, such as Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Hunt’s, and Marie Calender’s – for every UPC code collected, ConAgra Foods will match a meal donation. Our goal for the 2011/2012 school year is to donate 5 million meals. On top of the UPC code collection, we encourage schools to have food drives, and collect food products for local food banks in their areas. We hope to collect about 2 million pounds of food also during the school year.
Wow thanks Kori!