More than Food: The Best Meals of 2021

Our goal is to bring kids the three meals a day they need to play, to learn, to grow and thrive. This year, with your help, we connected millions of kids to these meals. Today, we share some of our favorite moments of 2021.

Meals for All Kids in Detroit

Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD)’s motto is, “Students rise. We all rise.” They understand that ensuring all kids have access to food is essential for their success. That’s why they include halal meals in their menus to support their large Muslim student population. With your support, they also created special meal delivery routes for medically fragile students during school closures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. See DPSCD in action in this mini-documentary.

Lunch and a Books in Saratoga County, New York

When the vans roll up, dozens of kids run as if it was the most exciting thing happening in their day. With your support, CAPTAIN Community Human Services in Saratoga, N.Y. has delivered hundreds of summer meals to kids in their community. Kids are also able to pick up books and activities at each of the 20 distribution sites. Learn how CAPTAIN is ending hunger in Saratoga County.

Diversity and Innovation in Roseville, Minn. 

Roseville Area Schools have become a leader in equity in their meal program. By listening to families, they have created an inclusive program that serves local produce and culturally diverse meals. They have also identified the barriers that keep students from receiving summer meals, ensuring all kids are included.

Not only have you supported these efforts, we have also created toolkits and workshops for other schools to replicate Roseville Area Schools’ success. Read more about their innovative practices and how they are inspiring others here.

A Family Meal in Atlanta 

“During the pandemic, everyone struggled. And I can say it because in this household, we all did struggle,” shared Wendy, a high school student in Rockdale, Ga.

Your donations supported families during the pandemic and beyond. See Rockdale Public Schools helping kids during the pandemic.

An Oasis of Food in Washington, DC.

You helped the Diaz family find a meal near their home. Programs like DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy Corners connect kids to meals in food deserts- areas where it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.

Meals in Times of Crisis in Puerto Rico

Marina Eve Martinez and Angel Cora own a food truck called Bistro Del Mar in Puerto Rico. In the past year, the US territory has faced a series of natural disasters, including two devastating hurricanes and earthquakes followed by the pandemic. Martinez and Cora mobilized their food truck to feed the community around them.

With your support, they have expanded their operations providing meals to over 2,000 hungry kids. Learn about our work with Latino communities like this one.

Fresh Produce and More in New York City

The Chinese American Planning Council was fast to recognize food access as one of the main needs of their community during the pandemic. They delivered cooked meals and fresh produce to thousands of families in the wake of the pandemic and, with your help, continue to serve meals in their after-school enrichment programs for children. Read more about the Chinese American Planning Council and their work serving diverse communities in New York.

Feeding Rural Communities in South Carolina

Staff of the Lowcountry Food Bank are proud of their close-knit community. They have witnessed neighbors helping each other in the most challenging circumstances. But even with the strength of rural communities, families still face many challenges like having to drive over 30 miles to the closest store or their place of work.

With your support, Lowcountry food bank was able to scale mobile pantry distribution and support migrant farmers in their community. These boxes are meals for kids in rural communities. Learn more about Lowcountry Food Bank’s work. 

Keeping it Cool in Shreveport, La.

In the words of Letisha WIlliams, school worker at Linwood Public Charter School, your support this year has been “a tremendous blessing.” The school was able to purchase refrigerators and equipment to set up grab-n-go stations so kids could safely have meals in the classroom in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. Read more about this story.

A Picnic in Connecticut 

Our youth ambassadors work hard to ensure kids have meals when they are on summer vacation. For many kids, summer is the hungriest and most challenging time of the year. We connected with 27 young leaders who support feeding communities in meal distributions like this one in Connecticut or helping families sign up for food assistance. Learn more about the youth ambassador program

Meals from Kids to Kids

You’re part of a community of people finding creative ways to end childhood hunger. Many supporters decided to share their talents and fundraise for No Kid Hungry. Macie Bazella hosted a bake sale in a park to support hungry kids.

“I can’t imagine what it must feel like to not have food to eat,” said Macie. “I get ‘hangry’ when I miss a snack. Kids need food to do good at school and activities. This is why I bake!” Get more ideas of how you too can fundraise for us.

Your support has helped millions of kids get the meals they need this year. These meals will fuel their dreams, goals and smiles. 1 in 6 kids continue to face hunger in the US. But together we can continue working so all kids have these meals that are so important to them.