Community Centers Earn Grant to Fight Hunger in Children during the Summer
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Grant through National Recreation and Park Association and Walmart Foundation provides nutritious meals
The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has been selected to benefit from a $1.5 million grant received by NRPA from the Walmart Foundation to support summer feeding programs in 28 park and recreation agencies across the U.S. The City of Colorado Springs has received a $40,000 grant to support its food service program at Deerfield Hills, Meadows Park and Hillside community centers.
“Helping children and families in our local community is a key objective of our City community centers,” said Brian Kates, director of Meadows Park Community Center. “We are thrilled to be a part of NRPA’s national effort to combat hunger, particularly in these troubled economic times, and are pleased that Walmart has lent their support to Colorado Springs. Through Walmart’s generosity, over 5,000 of our area children will have better, more nutritious summers.
The $40,000 grant will help Deerfield Hills, Meadows Park and Hillside community centers address basic food insecurity issues that run prevalent in these underserved neighborhoods by providing funding towards needed supplies for community gardens, snack and meal programs for youth, and assistance with transportation funding. The centers offer snack and meal programs, commodity distribution, a food pantry, community dinners and BBQ’s, and nutrition classes to help combat hunger. Throughout the course of the year, approximately 56,000 food-related offerings will be made to hundreds of local families, over 80 percent of which are at or below the poverty level.
Support for the feeding program is part of Walmart’s Summer Giving Campaign – a $20 million initiative aimed at filling the gaps created when schools close for the summer. The initiative will help expand nutrition, learning and employment services to children throughout the summer months.
While many children look forward to the summer break, recent research shows that health may decline in children during the summer due to lower levels of physical activity and lack of access to healthy meals.
Only one in seven of the low-income students who depended on the National School Lunch Program during the regular 2010-2011 school year received summer meals in July 2011 according to a report released by the Food Research and Action Center in June 2012.
“Park and recreation agencies are on the frontline in the fight to reduce hunger especially among children,” says Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of NRPA. “The generous gift from the Walmart Foundation will help our local champions provide nutritious meals for millions of children and support the development of a healthy, connected and active generation of Americans.”
For the third year, NRPA has awarded grants to park and recreation agencies for feeding programs that have served more than 16 million meals to low-income children, an increase of 3.7 million meals over 2009 figures.
For additional information on how Walmart is bringing its commitment to hunger relief to life this summer, visit http://www.walmartfoundation.org.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfoundation.org.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Associationis a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.
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