CA Schools, Families Get Help Coping in Pandemic
Monday, September 21, 2020
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Before the pandemic, one in five children in California lived with hunger. Now, it's one in four, so the media company Discovery, Inc. is partnering with nonprofits to feed millions of kids and make sure their basic needs are met.
Alexa Verveer, executive vice president of public policy, corporate and government affairs for Discovery, Inc., said the company's media platforms, which include HGTV, TLC, the Food Network and ID, reach 25% of American women on any given night.
"We're able to galvanize the power of our reach and the fact that we have passionate audiences in order to truly make an impact on important issues," Verveer said.
She added the channels will coordinate with business partners to raise money for the groups Save the Children and Share Our Strength, and publicize opportunities to contribute, volunteer and get involved in advocacy efforts.
Kathy Saile, California director of the No Kid Hungry campaign, is working with Discovery's Turn Up! Fight Hunger initiative to help school districts distribute bags of food now that school is mostly online.
"When schools started closing in March and they were switching over to the curbside pickup, they needed a lot of PPE, and a lot of extra packaging and other equipment, and we were able to grant nearly $4 million," Saile said.
The campaign also promotes programs that let elementary-age kids eat breakfast right before the bell rings, and funds grab-and-go breakfasts for high schoolers between classes.
They're also pushing Congress to extend the pandemic Electronic Balance Transfer program that provided income-eligible families with money on cards to be used in grocery stores.
Will Dittmar, state director in California and Washington for Save the Children, works with Discovery's RISE program, which stands for 'Reducing Inequality and Supporting Empowerment.' They help meet families' basic needs in low-income rural parts of Fresno and Tulare Counties, in the Morongo Valley and the Palmdale/Lancaster area.
"That's what we do at Save the Children is needs assessment," Dittmar said. "And then, immediately pivoting to find the resources to meet those needs; everything from direct cash resources for families to grants to schools to make sure they can continue their feeding programs in the summer."
He said RISE has spent millions on emergency food boxes, and supports educational programs for 9,500 kids at 26 rural schools in the Golden State.
get more stories like this via email
One of North Carolina's oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities is finding new ways to help students stay enrolled and graduate. Recent …
A new survey finds 8 in 10 Kentucky parents say afterschool programs could help their child combat social and mental-health struggles by reducing unpr…
A technology that once existed only in science fiction soon could emerge as a viable solution to climate change. The city of Flagstaff has added …
A new report found Texas likely undercounted the number of people who actually live in the state when gathering information for the 2020 census…
Minnesota has more than 10,000 brownfield sites, which are abandoned or idled properties in need of contamination removal. State officials will soon …
By age 35, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher are about twice as likely as workers with just a high school diploma to have a good job - one …
The mayor of Huntington, where more than 200 homes were recently damaged by severe flooding, said now is the state's "one chance" to prevent other …
Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in North Dakota, prompting state officials to launch an online dashboard, where the public …