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Al Roker, Chef Lorena Garcia, Selenis Leyva and More Join No Kid Hungry During Transformative Year to End Summer Hunger for Kids

Al Roker, Chef Lorena Garcia, Selenis Leyva and More Join No Kid Hungry During Transformative Year to End Summer Hunger for Kids

PR Newswire

Thirty million kids stand to benefit from hard-fought policy win by No Kid Hungry and others

[Media: For Photos & Assets, Click HERE]

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Every child deserves a happy, healthy summer, but when the last bell of the school year rings, millions of children lose access to the school meals they rely on, making summer the hungriest time of the year. But this year can be different. No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end childhood hunger, is teaming up with Weather and Feature Anchor of NBC's TODAY Al Roker, Chef, Author, Restaurateur and TV Personality Lorena Garcia, Actress, Activist and Author Selenis Leyva, Actress, TV Host and former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres and Actor and Producer Eugenio Derbez to raise awareness of new summer meals resources that could benefit 30 million children.

In December of 2022, after years of advocacy by No Kid Hungry and others, Congress passed bipartisan legislation that expanded the summer meals program. Traditionally, the summer meals programs offered for free to all kids at schools and community sites have been a lifeline for many families but only reach a fraction of the kids that need it. Pre-pandemic, only 13 out of every 100 kids who received free or reduced meals in schools were able to access free summer meals.

This historic legislation provided a comprehensive solution to the long-standing challenge of summer hunger, including a new permanent grocery benefit and the expansion of non-congregate meal options in rural communities. The grocery benefit, known as Summer EBT or SUN Bucks, will provide eligible families with $120 for each school-age child to help families stretch their grocery budgets during the summer–regardless of where they live. Summer EBT is planned to be implemented by nearly 37 states, 5 territories and 3 Tribal Nations. Families can visit NoKidHungry.org/Benefits to learn more about eligibility and enrollment.

Additionally, more rural communities can offer the non-congregate option this summer. This means schools and community organizations can deliver meals or provide take home meals to kids whose families often face transportation barriers.

No Kid Hungry is leading the charge to end summer hunger for kids by providing technical assistance and millions in grant funding to schools, community organizations and state agencies to ensure they have the resources they need to implement these new critical programs. No Kid Hungry is also working to expand Summer EBT to all 50 states in the future and will activate its bilingual meal-finder service to help families find free summer meals in their community. Parents and caregivers can simply text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 304-304, or can access this information via WhatsApp at comidasdeverano.org to find sites serving free meals in their neighborhood.

Critical to these programs' success is that families are aware of how to access all the summer meals resources available to them. Chef Lorena Garcia, Al Roker and Selenis Leyva will be lending their voice to reach as many families as possible through actions such as recording public service announcements, amplifying on social media and more. 

"Summer should be a time of joy and fun for children," said Al Roker, weather and feature anchor of NBC's TODAY. "The new grocery benefit combined with more flexible ways children in hard-to-reach places can access free healthy meals this summer will go a long way to ensure just that. I'm proud to join No Kid Hungry and do my part to help end summer hunger for kids in America."

"While there's a lot to celebrate, we know that the real work begins now," said Lorena Garcia, chef, author, restaurateur and TV personality. "I'm thrilled to bring my passion for food and team up with No Kid Hungry once again so parents and caregivers, including Spanish-speaking families, are aware of all the new resources available to help feed our nation's children when school is out."

"It is a concern for many families that children have the food they need, especially in the summer when they cannot count on school meals," said Selenis Leyva, actress, activist and author. "That's why, as a mom, I'm proud to join No Kid Hungry to help ensure every family can feed their kids this summer. Together, we can make summer a happy time for all children."

To find free summer meals for youth 18 and under, families can text 'FOOD' or 'COMIDA' to 304-304 or visit NoKidHungry.org/Help or comidasdeverano.org. Families can also visit NoKidHungry.org/Benefits to learn more about Summer EBT eligibility and enrollment.

No Kid Hungry is proud to work with corporate partners like Citi, Albertsons' Nourishing Neighbors, Arby's Foundation, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Kaiser Permanente, Tropical Smoothie Café and Walmart Foundation to help ensure kids have access to the healthy meals they need during the summer months and all year long. 

About No Kid Hungry

No child should go hungry in America. But millions of kids in the United States live with hunger. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.

Media Contact:

Allison deBrauwere Ruta, aruta@strength.org

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/al-roker-chef-lorena-garcia-selenis-leyva-and-more-join-no-kid-hungry-during-transformative-year-to-end-summer-hunger-for-kids-302152335.html

SOURCE No Kid Hungry



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