No Kid Hungry's Top Ten Smiles of 2022

This year, with the support of people like you, we helped millions of kids get the food they need to learn, smile and pursue their dreams. 

Today, we share with you the best moments of 2022 and the smiles that remind us why we do what we do.

Fueling Dreams in Florida

Serenity is the happiest girl you will ever meet. She looks up to her grandma who has been volunteering at her school for years. Serenity also wants to help people in the future by becoming either a doctor or a veterinarian. School meals are helping her get there.

“Food helps me learn because food keeps me energized, it keeps me alive in the day,” shared Serenity. “Always gonna need some food before I learn.”

Big Smiles in a Rural Community in California

Just a three hour drive from San Francisco and LA, people in the communities of Coalinga and Huron work hard producing food that is sold all over the world. But many of them struggle to make ends meet and they often have to travel far and wide to access healthy food. 

With No Kid Hungry funding, the Coalinga-Huron school district launched breakfast in the classroom increasing the number of kids who eat breakfast three times and helping them start the day with the energy they need to succeed.

A Smile in the Most Difficult Times in San Antonio, Texas

The last years have been extremely difficult for the Gonzales families. After an unexpected illness, Mr. Gonzales was unable to work, and his wife had to become both the breadwinner and caretaker for the family. She is a recent immigrant and, with limited English skills, she had to find work, learn how to drive and navigate healthcare for her husband.

The San Antonio Independent School District (SAID) was there provisioning meals for the Gonzales kids in these incredibly challenging times. In what seems like a miracle, Mr. Gonzales' health improved. His family smiles. They are grateful every day they didn’t have to worry about their kids having enough to eat.

Serving Kids in a Difficult New World

Even wearing a mask, this girl in California cannot hide the joy and gratitude for the fresh food she just received for lunch. Behind the scenes, cafeteria workers are working hard to ensure she can get this delicious meal. 

The pandemic has continued to disrupt day-to-day operations for cafeteria staff across the country. For many, it has been difficult to hire enough staff or secure essential equipment like trays and utensils, and the price of food items continues to rise.

No Kid Hungry has been there to support the increasingly difficult work of cafeteria staff and ensure kids continue receiving the meals they need to thrive.

Celebrating All Kids

Many LGBTQIA+ kids are at risk of experiencing hunger. Rejected by their families, some of them end up in the streets where they may be at risk of sexual exploitation trying to access food. No Kid Hungry is committed to supporting LGBTQIA+ kids and has partnered and supported organizations like Covenant House.

In Covenant House, these kids receive the meals they need to be their true selves. 

Breakfast in the Classroom Brings Joy in Rialto, California

At first, Mr. Luna didn’t want breakfast in the classroom. As a teacher, he was concerned about having one more thing on his plate and potential messes in his classroom. 

Mr. Stewart, the principal, encouraged him to think about this opportunity. Then Mr. Luna remembered how he went hungry when he was a kid and decided to give it a try. Today, he is a fan of breakfast in the classroom. With support from No Kid Hungry, he and his students smile every morning. 

Youth Ambassadors Teaching Kids about Food in the Summer

Our youth ambassador program has connected young college students to serve in communities across the country every summer for 11 years. Doron Pedahzur served as youth ambassador at the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin. She taught students in summer school sites about healthy meals, working to help immigrant students to feel proud about their meals and traditions. 

Reconnecting Native Families to Traditional Food in Montana

Many members of Native American tribes like the Blackfeet Nation in Montana have lost knowledge and access to their traditional foods due to forced loss of land and assimilation. For this reason, many families with kids in their community experience hunger. With No Kid Hungry’s funding and support, FAST Blackfeet has created a nutrition curriculum with traditional recipes like buffalo berry chili and continues to promote and expand their food pantry with traditional foods and medicines. 

Superheroes in Fulton County, Ga.

Chef Reggie says he has the best job in the world. 

One day, he may be dressed as a watermelon or Spiderman promoting the fruit of the month; the next day, he may be introducing highschoolers to a new meal that represents the diverse ethnicities of kids that go to school in Fulton County. He knows these experiences matter and dreams of how far his students will go.

With your support, kids in Fulton county can hang out with chef Reggie in the cafeteria and they have the proper equipment to provide school and summer meals.

Local leaders Stepping up for Kids

San Antonio Mayor Ron Niremberg visited the South San Antonio Independent School District (SSAISD) to present the “Lone Star Breakfast Award” for going out of the way to ensure every kid has a healthy breakfast in school. With support from No Kid Hungry, SSAISD expanded breakfast in the classroom to all elementary and middle school kids.

Mayor Nirenberg is an inaugural member of the Mayoral Alliance to End Childhood Hunger, launched by No Kid Hungry in 2022 to harness the leadership of mayors across the nation to end childhood hunger in their communities.

Thank you for making these smiles possible. We couldn’t do it without you! 

1 in 8 kids continue to face hunger in the United States. Learn more about how to make a difference in their lives today.