Feeding America and the Ad Council unveil new PSAs to help hungry Ozarks children find food programs
ConAgra Foods Foundation funds nationwide campaign, “Summer isn’t fun when you are hungry”
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— New public service advertisements recently released by Feeding America and the Ad Council are designed to raise awareness of where families can find free and nutritious meals for their children during the summer months when school isn’t in session, including here in the Ozarks.
Entitled “Summer isn’t fun when you are hungry,” the PSAs draw attention to the startling statistic that though more than 21 million children in the U.S. receive free and reduced price meals during the school year, only two million children access free meals from the USDA’s Summer Food Program.
According to Ozarks Food Harvest, The Food Bank’s 28-county service area has a higher child food insecurity rate (24.3%) than the state of Missouri as a whole (22.7%). The U.S. was also recently found to have the second-highest rate of child poverty among 35 developed countries, according to a study conducted by UNICEF.
“These statistics tell us many children have to face hunger this summer instead of enjoying summer activities like other boys and girls,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO at Ozarks Food Harvest. “Lack of proper nutrition can lead to health problems, and can negatively impact academic performance and psychological development.”
The PSAs, funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation, are part of the national Hunger Prevention campaign, which has received more than $135 million worth of donated media since its launch in November 2008. The campaign aims to increase the social consciousness of hunger in the America, while diminishing the stereotypes about those who are hungry.
There are 15 Summer Food Program sites in nine Ozarks counties that are sponsored by Ozarks Food Harvest. In 2010 and 2011, OFH’s Summer Food Program served more than 146,000 meals and snacks to children who would otherwise return to school undernourished, affecting their ability to learn.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 250 hunger relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributes 12 million pounds of food annually to 170,000 unduplicated individuals. OFH was named the 2011 Small Business of the Year by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and its facility, the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief, recently received a Superior AIB International Food Safety Rating. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.