Last week, American Idol star Katharine McPhee visited Orlando in hopes of bringing a focus on hungry children. She has partnered with the ConAgra Foods Foundation. Many local children depend on schools to provide perhaps their only consistent daily meals, and so when school is out, that means their next meal becomes a question mark.
During the school year, 19.5 million children receive free and reduced-price meals at school. But during the summer months, only 2.2 million children participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, coordinated by many Feeding America food banks across the country. That leaves millions of children at risk of hunger during the summer when school is out. The Hunger-Free Summer initiative aims to close that gap through a $5 million donation from the ConAgra Foods Foundation to Feeding America. The goal of the Hunger-Free Summer initiative is to provide at least 25 percent more meals for children in need over the next five years, and will account for a significant portion of ConAgra Foods Foundation’s goal of delivering one million meals to children in need this summer.
McPhee was in Orlando to launch Hunger-Free Summer on Wednesday, July 7, with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando at the New Image Youth Center. While there, Katharine volunteered her time, raising awareness for the cause, and singing with the children served by the center.
“This summer, I am going to be traveling across the country to Feeding America food banks from Orlando to Los Angeles – to volunteer my time and, more importantly, to raise awareness about this important issue,” said McPhee. “I want to challenge every community to come together to help end child hunger in the United States.”
Let’s hope her work brings attention to the problem of hunger here and across the nation!