Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more than $27 million in grants to fund projects designed to help end childhood hunger in America. The announcement was made at a large anti-hunger conference, and is part of the USDA’s efforts during National Nutrition Month to focus on poverty and food insecurity among children, especially in rural areas. The full text of the USDA press release can be found here.
Secretary Vilsack said this:
“Too many children in America live in households that don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. Many families are forced to buy cheaper, less healthy foods because they don’t have resources to purchase healthier options, or don’t live close to a store that sells healthy food,” Secretary Vilsack said. “At USDA, we’re deeply committed to ensuring that all Americans, especially children, have access to a healthy diet whether at home or at school. The goal of ending child hunger in America is absolutely achievable, and this new initiative will help us test innovative strategies for getting there.”
In the United States, approximately 15.8 million children live in families that are food insecure; many of these children live in rural areas or are members of the Tribal Nations. The projects selected for funding are designed to test new strategies to end childhood hunger, including alternative models for service delivery and benefit levels that will promote the reduction or elimination of childhood hunger.
Among the most exciting projects chosen will be implemented by the Chickasaw Nation. That project will provide food through home delivery to households with children who qualify for free school meals.