General Mills grants $10,000 for Backpack Program
Funding will provide food bags for Joplin children in need this school year
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— The General Mills’ Team Joplin Community Action Council presented a $10,000 grant from the General Mills Foundation to Ozarks Food Harvest today to help support the Weekend Backpack Program.
The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program provides food to insecure children with a bag of nutritious, child-friendly food for them to take home over the weekends, when they might otherwise go hungry. Each year, the program distributes 55,000 bags to 46 schools across the Ozarks. General Mills’ support will enable OFH to provide 24 at-risk children at Irving Elementary in Joplin with a backpack of nutritious food items each weekend during the 2014-15 school year.
“Without the generous support of General Mills, we wouldn’t be able to provide weekend food bags to our neighboring children in Joplin,” said OFH Development Director Denise Gibson. “We know that we can’t solve hunger alone — we have to work together. It’s a shame that so many families have to wonder how they’ll put food on the table, but we’re doing our best — with the help of our partners — to make sure that children don’t have to worry what they’ll eat when school’s out for the weekend.”
“The mission of General Mills is nourishing lives, and we believe the Weekend Backpack Program is an excellent fit with that mission,” said Plant Manager Isabel Quepons.
The General Mills Foundation’s ongoing support of the Weekend Backpack Program has allowed The Food Bank to distribute more than 3,550 food bags, with an additional 888 expected to be delivered this school year.
Since 2010, the General Mills Foundation has donated nearly $100,000 to OFH to help fight hunger in southwest Missouri. The Foundation also donated $48,500 for disaster-relief in 2011, which allowed OFH to provide Weekend Backpacks to Joplin-area students, purchase needed food items and cover expenses that were incurred by The Food Bank, as nearly two million meals were provided to those affected by the Joplin tornado.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 200 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributes 12.5 million meals annually to more than 260,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.
About the General Mills Foundation
The mission of the General Mills Foundation is to nourish communities globally with remarkable philanthropy. During fiscal 2013, General Mills provided more than $153 million to communities across the world. Of the total, the Foundation contributed $27 million in grants in the targeted areas of alleviating hunger, advancing nutrition wellness and improving K-12 education, in addition to $46 million in food donations. General Mills employees also support their communities through volunteerism, with 83 percent of U.S. employees contributing their time and talent in their communities each year. To learn more about the ways General Mills nourishes lives through philanthropy and community engagement, please join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/GeneralMillsGives or visit us at the General Mills Foundation website.