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Turn Up to Fight Childhood Hunger

Many parents aren't aware of free school breakfast, after-school and summer meal programs. (New Africa/Adobe Stock)
Many parents aren't aware of free school breakfast, after-school and summer meal programs. (New Africa/Adobe Stock)
February 10, 2020

NEW YORK -- A leading child nutrition program has joined forces with a major media platform to fight child hunger.

One-in-six children in New York is food insecure. That's more than 730,000 children.

But many parents can't access or aren't aware of school breakfast, after-school supper and summer meal programs that can help.

Rachel Sabella, director of No Kid Hungry New York, says working with Discovery and its lifestyle media outlets such as Food Network and HGTV will be a major boost to her organization's efforts to help end child hunger in the state.

"We're connecting kids and families to programs that exist so we can help make sure nobody struggles with hunger," she states. "This partnership with Discovery is going to help our work go further, faster. "

The Turn Up: Fight Hunger program hopes to provide the tools and resources to reach 1 billion meals for children nationwide in five years. More information is available at Turnup.org.

According to Alexa Verveer, senior vice president at Discovery, Inc., the vast outreach capability of Discovery's media platforms will give a big boost to efforts to spread information about available child nutrition programs.

"On any given night we reach 25% of women in the United States and we are confident that we can mobilize them and engage with them in a way that they are going to want to help kids access food throughout this country," Verveer says.

She notes that more than 22 million children get free or reduced-price lunches at school, but school breakfast programs are underutilized with only 12 million participating.

Sabella says children who struggle with hunger are more likely to be absent from school, have more trips to the school nurse and have more difficulty concentrating.

"We know that when kids grow up with the nutrition that they need to thrive, it's better for them, it helps to strengthen their communities and it helps to give us a stronger New York state," she stresses.

Sabella says the Turn Up: Fight Hunger website will help consumers fight food insecurity through activism, fundraising and advocacy.

Disclosure: Discovery Inc contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Environment, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY