ConAgra Foods Foundation Donates $20,000 for the
East Texas Food Bank's Summer BackPack Program
(Tyler, Texas) – June 14, 2013 – The East Texas Food Bank’s Summer BackPack Program will begin Friday,June 14th at Our Lady of Sorrows, 1203 Corinth Road in Jacksonville, at 11:30 am. When school is out for summer vacation, millions of children across the nation lose access to the free and reduced‐price meals they receive during the school year. This summer, the East Texas Food Bank is hosting more than 60 Summer Feeding sites across East Texas. The sites are open and free to children.
In addition to the Summer Food Program, the East Texas Food Bank, a member of Feeding America network, is hosting a Summer BackPack Program through a grant awarded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation Hunger Free Summer Program – to address the summer‐specific needs of children in East Texas.
For the 4th year, the East Texas Food Bank received the grant. This year, with $20,000, the East Texas Food Bank will host the Summer BackPack Program at twelve sites, most of which are located in rural communities. Each Friday, children will receive a bag of nutritious food, enough to last them until Monday. This is an expansion of the East Texas Food Bank’s highly successful BackPack Program, which provides backpacks filled with nutritious food to needy children on Fridays during the school year.
The Summer BackPack Program will operate at the following Summer Food Program sites:
Big Sandy (First Baptist Church of Big Sandy), Henderson (Boys & Girls Club of Rusk County), Jacksonville (Our Lady
of Sorrows and Sweet Union Apartment Complex), Karnack (Elementary School), Kilgore (Pentecost Park), Longview (Belaire Manor Apartments and LifeBridge), Marshall (West End Park), Mount Pleasant (First Presbyterian Church and Housing Authority of Mount Pleasant) and New Summerfield (Our Lady of the Guadeloupe Catholic Church).
“Even if hunger is temporary, its impact can last a lifetime,” said Dennis Cullinane, executive director of the East Texas Food Bank. “We know children who miss breakfast and lunch are more susceptible to health and wellness issues. With this funding, we’re now able to provide healthy foods to children over the weekend in some of our rural areas.”
“Through the Summer BackPack Program, the East Texas Food Bank is overcoming barriers that prevent kids from getting the nutrition they need in the summertime,” said Kori Reed, vice president of Foundation and Cause at ConAgra Foods. “In addition to building upon the important work they’ve done in East Texas for years, together, we’re learning what works and how we can make continual improvements to feed more children during the crucial summer months.”
For a list of the East Texas Food Bank’s Summer Food Program visit EastTexasFoodBank.org/SummerFood.
About the Hunger‐Free Summer Program
Only 2.3 million children are receiving free meals through SFSP when school is out. While summer meal assistance
is widely available – because families may not know about these programs, or they may be geographically unable
to access them – participation is limited.
The East Texas Food Bank is of 29 Feeding America member food banks in 20 states selected to receive ConAgra Foods Foundation’s Hunger‐Free Summer grant. Each organization will use the grants to overcome food access barriers in a variety of ways, including:
Bringing meals directly to areas where children naturally gather, such as parks and libraries
Facilitating family enrollment in government food programs
Providing healthy foods to children in rural or low‐income areas in partnerships with other organizations,
such as local fire departments
Recruiting volunteers to establish and sustain summer feeding programs
The goal of ConAgra Foods’ Hunger‐Free Summer initiative with Feeding America is to serve at least 25 percent more children over the course of five years. The program – now in its fourth year – has supported the delivery of more than 2.5 million meals and snacks to children struggling with hunger over the summer.
About East Texas Food Bank
The East Texas Food Bank provided more than 14 million meals, which is more than 16 million pounds of food,
each year to 200 partner agencies in 26 East Texas counties. Our vision is for a hunger‐free East Texas and our
mission is to fight hunger and feed hope in East Texas. The East Texas Food Bank is a member of Feeding America
and the Texas Food Bank Network. To learn more, please visit EastTexasFoodBank.org. Find us on Facebook at
facebook.com/etfoodbank or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/etfoodbank .
About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the
United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup
kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food
security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for
legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a
role in ending hunger. Visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.
About ConAgra Foods Foundation
The ConAgra Foods Foundation, through its Nourish Today, Flourish Tomorrow platform, is dedicated to raising
awareness of the nearly 17 million children in America who are at risk of hunger and live in food insecure homes
where they may not have enough food to live active, healthful lives. It aggressively pursues sustainable solutions
in the fight against child hunger. And the Foundation is committed to building a community of people who are
passionate about ensuring that all kids have access to the food and facts they need to eat nutritiously while living
balanced lifestyles and succeeding in school and life. ConAgra Foods Foundation invests in national and local
partnerships with high‐impact, not‐for‐profit organizations, such as Feeding America and Share Our Strength that
take an innovative approach to addressing needs in the core areas of hunger and nutrition education. For more
information, please visit www.ConagraFoods.com or www.facebook.com/ConAgraFoods The ConAgra Foods
Foundation is primarily funded by ConAgra Foods.