CHILDREN’S HUNGER ALLIANCE RECEIVES $230K GRANT FROM CARESOURCE FOUNDATION TO EXPAND PROGRAMS FOR FOOD-INSECURE CHILDREN IN SOUTHEASTERN OHIO
Grant will help expand access to federal nutrition services, including afterschool meals and snacks and summer breakfasts and lunches for children in Vinton and Scioto Counties
COLUMBUS, OH (April 12, 2018) – Children’s Hunger Alliance, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in Ohio, today announced the organization was awarded a $230,000 grant from the CareSource Foundation. The grant will support the expansion of programs that provide access to healthy meals for children in southeastern Ohio who are at-risk of food insecurity, particularly those in Vinton and Scioto Counties. Children’s Hunger Alliance is in the process of identifying potential community partners that can begin serving afterschool and summer meals to low-income children.
“With almost two-million CareSource members, we understand the issues of hunger extremely well,” said Cathy Ponitz, Vice President, CareSource Foundation. “Food insecurity can affect a child’s development, their ability to learn and to fight illness. The CareSource Foundation is proud of our continued partnership, particularly in southeastern Ohio, where geography and sparse populations create a challenge in providing access to food for those in need.”
Over the past year, Children’s Hunger Alliance led a project to create maps for six southeastern Ohio counties to identify where gaps exist in meeting the needs of food-insecure children. The maps are supported by an extensive database that illustrates where food-insecure children live and where current programs are that serve afterschool and summer meals. The maps also highlight gaps in services as well as potential partners – such as schools, churches, libraries and other community organizations – that could serve as a feeding site to reach the needs of children in the community.
Utilizing the maps and with the support of community partners, Children’s Hunger Alliance will leverage the CareSource Foundation grant to help implement the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program for at-risk afterschool programs as well as the Summer Food Service and Seamless Summer programs to meet the needs of children during summer break. These USDA programs create a sustainable means of providing healthy food to children in low-income neighborhoods by providing reimbursements that cover a portion of the cost of food served to children.
This month Vinton County’s three elementary schools will begin offering shelf stable meals – paid for with CareSource Foundation funds – to more than 260 children who attend afterschool programming. Children’s Hunger Alliance provides meals that are nutritionally balanced and include a serving of protein, grains, fruit, vegetable and milk.
“We are grateful to the CareSource Foundation for funding this critical work, which has the potential to improve the wellbeing of thousands of children in these counties” said Judy Mobley, president and CEO for Children’s Hunger Alliance. “We look forward to working with community partners to fill gaps that exist in providing access to healthy meals for children who are not receiving the food they need to grow, learn and thrive.”
On average, one in five children in Ohio or more than 575,000 children live in food-insecure households and are unsure of where their next meal will come from. In southeastern Ohio the need is even greater, and while populations are smaller, the percent of children under 18 years of age who are likely to experience hunger in Vinton and Scioto counties exceeds 27 percent. Children’s Hunger Alliance will collaborate and support partners in these counties to address strategic ways to provide nutritious meals to children who need it most.
About Children’s Hunger Alliance
Founded in 1970 in Columbus, Children’s Hunger Alliance is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in Ohio. The organization works to improve access to early childhood nutrition through child care providers and daycare centers, school breakfasts, afterschool and summer meals. Each year Children’s Hunger Alliance helps provide millions of nutritious meals and snacks to hungry children throughout Ohio. Learn more at childrenshungeralliance.org
CareSource is a nonprofit nationally recognized as an industry leader in providing member-centric health care coverage. Founded in 1989, CareSource administers one of the nation’s largest Medicaid managed care plans. Today, CareSource offers individuals and families’ comprehensive health and life services including Marketplace and Medicare Advantage plans.
The CareSource Foundation provides grants to nonprofits who are working to eliminate poverty, provide services to low and moderate-income families, build healthier communities and develop innovative approaches to address significant social issues.
Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, CareSource serves nearly 2 million members in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Georgia. CareSource understands the challenges consumers face navigating the health system and works to put health care in reach for those it serves.
For more, visit caresource.com, follow @caresource on Twitter, or like CareSource on Facebook.