Prizes go to local champions in California, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Florida
Contact: Johanna Elsemore at 202.478.6554 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC – The national anti-hunger campaign No Kid Hungry has announced five winners of its 2018 Summer Meals Hero contest. This year’s inspiring line-up of local champions is proof that it really does take a village to feed kids in the summertime. The winners include individuals from school districts and community organizations across the country who were nominated by members of their local community. Whether they spend their workday in a church, a hospital, or a food truck, these No Kid Hungry summer heroes go above and beyond to change the lives of kids in need.
The following individuals were named 2018 No Kid Hungry Summer Meals Heroes:
- Betty Crocker, Food Nutrition Director at Redlands Unified School District (Redlands, California)
Before Betty Crocker came to the district two years ago, Redlands did not have a summer meals program. She quickly developed partnerships with the city and local community centers, launching the program in 2017. Thanks to Betty’s creative marketing and commitment to overcome challenges, the program saw significant growth this summer. “She only cares about one thing, and that’s serving the kiddos!” says Daisy Munguia, a Senior Program Director for No Kid Hungry California. 1 in every 5 kids in San Bernardino County face hunger.
- Commissioner Annette Woods Mitchell, Deerfield Beach Housing Authority (Deerfield Beach, Florida)
In the three years that Annette has been a site administrator for the Summer BreakSpot Program, she’s gone above and beyond to ensure the kids she serves receive nutritious meals and enrichment activities, coordinating free field trips and tutoring to compliment the summer meals program. “She is constantly thinking of new ways to get children engaged and to learn along the way,” said Maria Trinidad Miguel, a No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador with Florida Impact. “She puts the needs of her community before her own.” Nearly 75,000 kids in Broward County face hunger.
- Elaine Jones, RD, LDN, Clinical Nutrition Manager at Atrium Health’s Carolinas HealthCare System University (Charlotte, North Carolina)
A driving force in pushing for community health initiatives, Elaine Jones was an early champion when CHS University first piloted serving summer meals in the hospital cafeteria in 2017. This year the hospital became its own sponsor, substantially expanding the Kids Eat Free program. “Hunger pains are real and far too numerous,” Jones said. “We all have the ability, opportunity and obligation to end hunger by making food available to our youth.” More than 45,000 kids in Mecklenburg County face hunger.
- José Lebron, NYC Summer Meals Truck staff (New York City)
For the past four summers, José Lebron has worked tirelessly seven days a week to feed as many kids as possible at his summer meal truck, which delivers free summer meals at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan. He goes out of his way to develop relationships with camps and programs in the surrounding areas and to really get to know the kids and parents he serves each day. “Countless times I've seen him convince wary families or shy kids to get their lunch with his earnest efforts,” said David Stillman with Hunger Free America, who nominated José for this award. “Whenever a kid or family passes near the site, he bellows, ‘Free Meals! Free meals for the kids! We've got sandwiches, carrots, apples!’ to get their attention.” 1 in 5 kids in New York City face hunger.
- Sarah Brown, Pastor at Church at Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Virginia)
Sarah Brown oversees the No Kid Hungry summer lunch program at Church at Hampton Roads, where she is a co-pastor with her husband Joel. She is committed to making sure kids in Chesapeake have access to a healthy lunch and exciting activities to stimulate their brains and keep them active. Sarah is described as a ‘beacon of hope’ for the kids in the community she serves. “She greets them with smiles and talks to them about their day and future plans,” says Jenny Fertig with Healthy Chesapeake. “She has a huge heart for the youth and her love and compassion for them cannot be ignored.” 1 in 7 kids in Chesapeake County face hunger.
Summer can be the hungriest time of year for many children from low-income families. When schools close, students no longer get school meals, and families struggle to put food on the table. Summer hunger can have a long-term impact on a child’s health, ability to learn and general well-being. No Kid Hungry and its partners focus on connecting kids to the national Summer Meals Program as a critical way to end childhood hunger.
“Reaching kids during the summer months can be a tough nut to crack, but I’m so inspired by the work that’s happening in communities all across the country,” said Lisa Davis, Senior Director of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. “Thanks to everyday heroes like the amazing folks we’re recognizing today, many more kids will return to school this fall well-nourished and ready to learn.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Join us at NoKidHungry.org