May 5, Omaha, Nebraska: No Kid Hungry, a campaign from the national nonprofit Share Our Strength, will invest $3 million in grants to organizations focused on early childhood to help decrease food insecurity among children under the age of six.
The No Kid Hungry grants will serve more than 120 early child care centers, healthcare providers, and community organizations. These organizations work with an estimated 170,000 children under the age of five in 34 states and the District of Columbia, including Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative (NECC) in Omaha, Nebraska.
Using these grant funds, Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative has partnered with Hy-Vee, a local grocery store, to supply groceries and grocer delivery through the weekend to food-insecure families. In addition, they will hold classes to teach families how to adequately meal plan and write shopping lists to encourage healthy habits.
“Food insecurity in the early years can have an immediate and lasting impact on overall health, learning, school readiness, and behavior,” said Caron Gremont, Director of Early Childhood for the No Kid Hungry campaign. “These flexible, year-long grants will help organizations provide healthy food to young kids and their families at this critical time.”
At one point during the past year, 40 percent of parents of kids under six reported job or income loss related to the coronavirus pandemic. More than one in five parents reported food insecurity in their household. Early childhood is the most intensive period of brain and body development, and hunger and hardship at this age can have long-term implications for children.
“Food insecurity has been a long-standing issue for the children and families we serve, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made that more evident,” said Shannon Cotsoradis, CEO of Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative. “We are grateful to be a recipient of this grant that will play an integral part in our multi-faceted approach to combatting food insecurity among young children and families in our community.”
About No Kid Hungry: No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 6 kids could face hunger this year. 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.