"If you want to eliminate hunger, everybody has to be involved."
— Bono

A local park was the perfect setting for Chicagoland blogger Tamara Hubbard from The Unexperienced Mom to host a Child Hunger Ends Here Block Party on May 22. Children and parents arrived with food donations in hand and munched on caramel popcorn, hot dogs and cupcakes. Homemade games were set up to keep little ones entertained while adults enjoyed a beautiful Saturday in the sun. Tamara’s event raised $200 or 1,400 meals for the cause, and she says that she and her husband are already planning another block party for next year.

 Read Tamara’s post about her rally.

Do you have a rockin’ rally story to share? Email a brief summary, your results and up to three photos to rallies@fleishman.com for a chance to have your event featured on our blog!

"A little girl from one of the elementary schools here in Columbia didn’t want to go home for spring break. She wouldn’t get on the school bus. One of the teachers ordered her to get on. She burst into tears, grabs the teacher’s leg, sobbing, begging the teacher, ‘I don’t want to go home. Please don’t make me go home.’ The teacher asks her why she doesn’t want to go home, and she says, ‘There’s no food there.’"

It was this story that inspired Peggy Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, to begin a program called Buddy Packs. The program provides children with back packs filled with kid-friendly, nutritious food to take home with them on the weekend and over holidays.

Read more about how Peggy and other are making a difference in Mid-Missouri.

"I can’t think of any issue that is more important than working to see that no schoolchild in this world goes hungry."
— Drew Barrymore

Los Angeles blogger Andrea Fellman from Savvy Sassy Moms rallied friends in a sweet way to raise money for Child Hunger Ends Here. On Saturday, May 2, Andrea hosted an ice cream social complete with an ice cream truck (and all the fixings), a bounce house and crafts for kids. She also enlisted her daughters to help bake more than 150 chocolate chip cookies for a bake sale held during the festivities. In addition to her family, Andrea was able to recruit several local businesses to offset event costs and maximize the funds raised. The end results were lots of smiles and $660 or 4,620 meals for the cause.

Read Andrea’s post about her rally and watch an awesome photo recap.

Do you have a rockin’ rally story to share? Email a brief summary, your results and up to three photos to rallies@fleishman.com for a chance to have your event featured on our blog!

Newsweek reports: Food insecurity is on the rise. Stronger efforts needed to make sure all U.S. families have enough to eat, says nonprofit official.

While the Child Hunger Ends Here Neighborhood Rally Campaign has come to a close, the fight against child hunger will continue both on this blog, through the ConAgra Foods Foundation and with the help of readers like you.

Every rally, every re-Tweet, every post and word of encouragement has brought us one step closer to ending child hunger. We appreciate all of the support and will continue the discussion to encourage even more people to help the smallest victims of hunger live better lives. We will share more on our results in the coming weeks.

The Child Hunger Ends Here Neighborhood Rally Campaign would like to personally thank our army of benevolent bloggers whose efforts both online and off have made this program a roaring success:

Many thanks to …
Kelly from The Centsible Life

Laura from MyDallasMommy
Niri from Mommy Niri
Christie from Inside The Chatter Box
Melinda from Look What Mom Found
Tamara from The Unexperienced Mom
Andrea D. from Mommy Snacks
Andrea F. from Savvy Sassy Moms
Courtney from Detroit Mommies
Jenny from The Suburban Jungle
Molly from The Snyder 5 
Judy from Dirt Road Musings
Jessica from It’s my Life…
Danielle from Extraordinary Mommy

Thanks again to everyone for your help in the fight against child hunger!

The link between childhood obesity and child hunger exists but few are aware of why. In this recent story from The Oregonian, read how a chef at an Oregon Boys & Girls Club is changing what kids are eating and what legislation is in the works to help prevent child hunger, improve children’s health and increase their access to healthy meals.


Read More

Inside Look: How Food Banks Help Our Communities

The St. Louis Area Foodbank serves hungry men, women and children in 14 counties in eastern Missouri and 12 counties in southwestern Illinois. With the help of donors and volunteers, the food bank distributed more than 20 million pounds of food in 2009. In this video, you’ll meet the organization’s communications manager, Ryan Farmer, and see how this Feeding America facility supports those in need in the Show-Me state. Visit Feeding America to find how you can get involved in your area.

With her children by her side, blogger Danielle Smith from Extraordinary Mommy organized an old-fashioned lemonade stand on Saturday, May 22.  For three hours, Danielle and her brood poured cool drinks for thirsty visitors between the 8th and 9th holes of The Turtle Creek subdivision golf course in O’Fallon, Missouri. The event raised a total of $85, which will provide 595 meals! When asked why she chose this format for her fundraiser, Danielle said, “A lemonade stand is easy - even for small people and … your rally doesn’t have to be a large scale event bringing in thousands of dollars to make a difference.”

Read Danielle’s post about her event and watch an awesome video recap.

Do you have a rockin’ rally story to share? Email a brief summary, your results and up to three photos to rallies@fleishman.com for a chance to have your event featured on our blog!

An article from Time Magazine discusses how going hungry is a major contributor to ill health, particularly among children, and now a new report from the National Cancer Institute reveals how long-lasting the damage can be.

Lead author of the study, Sharon Kirkpatrick, explains: “The research really pushes us to look at the impact that various policy interventions on food insecurity can have on health,” says Kirkpatrick. “It’s unacceptable that in countries like the U.S. and Canada, we’re talking about millions of children living in households with uncertain food access.”

Alex is a precocious little boy who attends an after school program offering snacks provided by the Northern Illinois Food Bank.  He’s the first to admit he loves everything that has to do with Pokemon, and invests as much time playing the game as he does reading books about the character’s fantastical pursuits. 

Pokemon never supersedes his English and Spanish homework, which are both taught by his favorite teacher.  When Alex isn’t running circles around the agency’s teen volunteers, he can be found practicing Spanish phrases with Mariela, the grandmotherly matriarch of this site.

The time he gets to spend with his friends — and eating his favorite food, bagels with cream cheese — is why Alex looks forward to participating in the after school program.

Learn more about the Northern Illinois Food Bank.


Hunger-Free Summer Video

Katharine McPhee talks about her commitment to fighting child hunger and why ConAgra Foods Foundation partnered with Feeding America to bring at least one million more meals to kids this summer alone.

Shonda, an Atlanta pre-school teacher, remembers a few winters back when she and her two young children avoided using the living room during winters. It was the coldest room in their home, perpetually devoid of warmth as they tried to cut back on heating bills. During that challenging time, Shonda relied heavily on the goodness of her friends, begrudgingly borrowing money when she couldn’t afford to buy food for her children. It was the kind of predicament she never thought her family would have to face.

“You know, I sacrificed, I went to college….Why am I going, financially, through this?” she would often ask herself. While Shonda could never boast about living a luxurious life, the money she made as a teacher had been enough to send her daughter, Farri, to an after-school program that the little girl’s school ran. Things drastically changed for the family a few years ago when the new management at her pre-school made a few budgetary cuts. Shonda was left out of a job and in need of affordable daycare as she picked up temping jobs and submitted resumes.

A friend told Shonda about a reputable mixed-income after-school program that served snacks and dinner to kids for a small fee each month. The after-school program kept their costs low due the support and food they receive from the Atlanta Community Food Bank. While Shonda juggled utilities and other bills, her mind was eased knowing that Farri and Elijah would have a nutritious meal each night after their tutoring sessions at the after-school program – and that these features wouldn’t cost her an arm and a leg.

Now employed in a new pre-school and back in grad school for a counseling degree, Shonda is happy her kids have a safe place to play, learn and find a nutritious meal.

Find out more about the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Thanks to Feeding America for letting us share this story. Learn more about the work Feeding America is doing to fight hunger.

While financial donations can make a world of difference to local food banks, volunteers can be just as valuable. An entire day or just an afternoon spent at a food bank means you’re directly helping that facility feed more children. Lend a hand in your local community by:

  • Tutoring kids at your local Kids Cafe.
  • Repackaging donated food for use at food pantries.
  • Transporting food to charitable agencies.

Get involved, and make it even more fun by asking your family and friends to join the fight against child hunger.  For information on opportunities in your area, please contact your local food bank.

There is also still time to host your own Child Hunger Ends Here rally. Turn a bake sale, lemonade stand even a movie night to a rally and donate all or a portion of the proceeds to Feeding America. Learn how you can get involved today