Foodshare has received a grant from the Winter–Lehman Family Foundation that will help it address child hunger by supporting Weekend Backpack programs and Summer Meal programs. The family foundation, based in West Hartford, Connecticut, committed $35,000 each year for three years.
“Matt Winter and Jane Lehman have been great friends of Foodshare, and their newly formed family foundation has a focus area on helping children in our service area,” said Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski. “Their donation will allow Foodshare to help provide much-needed healthy meals over the weekends and throughout the summer when school is not in session.”
Research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that children who are food insecure or who do not have steady access to enough food perform worse in school. Funding from the foundation will support child nutrition programs to help ensure that kids in Greater Hartford can thrive.
The foundation noted, “Our family believes that child hunger is simply unacceptable in a country as prosperous and developed as ours. In addition to supporting Feeding America in its nationwide efforts to end hunger, we wanted to specifically address the child hunger issue in the Greater Hartford area. We are proud to be partnering with Foodshare in this critical effort.”
Currently, several of Foodshare’s partner programs run Child Backpack programs that provide food directly to kids for the weekend to supplement the School Breakfast and Lunch programs. This funding will help support the purchase of healthy food items for backpacks. Foodshare also works with summer camps such as Channel 3 Kids Camp and Camp Courant that serve disadvantaged kids over the summer months and provides outreach to meal sites that serve the Summer Food Service Program.
The grant funding will help support Foodshare’s three-year strategic priorities to increase food security and stability of families to reduce the cycle of hunger and poverty for the next generation of children.
Foodshare is a Feeding America food bank serving Connecticut’s Hartford and Tolland counties, where 121,000 people struggle with hunger. In partnership with the food industry, donors, community leaders and volunteers, Foodshare works to maximize access to nutritious food and other resources that support food security. Last year, Foodshare distributed nearly 12 million meals worth of food to a network of 300 local food pantries, meal programs and Mobile Foodshare sites. Foodshare collaborates with anti-hunger organizations, policy makers and the broader community to build effective solutions to end hunger.
The Winter-Lehman Family Foundation was recently formed to engage in philanthropic efforts to enhance communities, assist the less fortunate, ensure dignity and opportunity for all and care for animals and the environment. The Foundation’s current geographic focus areas include Hartford, Connecticut.