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RefillWise Partner Spotlight: 3 Non-Profits Solving Summer Child Hunger

by Jen Simpson June 26, 2017 News

If lunch or dinnertime is approaching, your mind has undoubtedly already started to drift—what will you prepare? Or, maybe you’ve already pondered your options and will pick up something on the way home. For most of us, this is the greatest challenge we face when it comes to mealtimes. But for 13.1 million children scattered across America, it’s not always a question of what they’ll eat; it’s whether they will get to eat at all. Data from Feeding America indicates that some 20% of all children battle with food insecurity, which means that there’s no guarantee of a healthy meal to nourish their growing bodies. In addition to hunger, these kids tend to suffer illness more often and are generally less healthy. They also have trouble focusing in class and don’t perform as well academically as their peers. Plus they tend to be less social and have more behavior problems. The impact of childhood hunger is wide-reaching, but thankfully free or reduced meals are available for many of those in need, so most kids do get a healthy meal or snack during the day. However, this still leaves a major gap as the children go home to empty cabinets, and during the summer months, they may not have access to nutritious food at all.

Determined to reach these children when other food programs fail, several RefillWise partners work tirelessly in different programs to offer food assistance to kids and their families. We’re incredibly proud of the work they do, and want to make sure their messages are spread; not only to those in a position to help, but also to those who need it this summer.

Meet Hunger Busters

Throughout the country, there are small pockets of especially food-insecure children. Dallas, Texas happens to be one such area, with nearly 90% of public school students relying upon subsidized breakfasts and and/or lunches, and it’s often the only food they receive on any given day. This is where Hunger Busters’ “Feed the Need” program comes in, offering students a third meal each school day. This year, the organization plans to provide 350,000 meals through the help of volunteers, donations, and grant money. During summer months, the organization continues to provide meals to kids in after school programs and reaches as many families as possible.

To learn more about the nonprofit or to make a donation to Hunger Busters, visit HungerBusters.com. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Meet Equal Heart

Last summer alone, Equal Heart served 533,359 meals to kids across four different cities. The nonprofit’s slogan is “Supporting people in times of adversity,” which they do through various meal programs. While some of their meals make their way to kids in summer programs and camps, the organization is unique in that it literally goes door-to-door with its mobile food network as well. People who sign up for the program receive 50 pounds of pantry staples as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, and the food packs are brought straight into their apartment communities. The Direct-to-Door program, as it’s called, serves families that do not have transportation to a food pantry. Like Hunger Busters, Equal Heart is able to do the work it does because of the help of volunteers and donors in Texas and Colorado.

To make a donation to Equal Heart or learn more about the programs the organization offers, visit EqualHeart.org. You can also help spread word about their efforts by following Equal Heart on Facebook and Twitter.

Meet Tarrant Area Food Bank

The reach Tarrant Area Food Bank has is exponential. Every single week, the organization serves more than 490,000 meals to people struggling with food insecurity. It provides for the hungry, and offers opportunities for individuals and communities to become more self-sufficient. Through its community gardening programs, people can learn how to create thriving gardens for themselves and/or their communities, with lessons in a real community garden that provides nutritious foods too. The organization also has a “Cooking Matters” program, which teaches individuals how to get the most nutritious meals possible from a limited budget, while the “Community Kitchen” course provides free culinary job training. Since its inception, nearly 300 men and women have graduated from the 16-week program and have learned the skills necessary to obtain employment from professional chefs.

However, it’s perhaps the work TAFB does for kids that is the most touching. In addition to providing after-school meals and in-school snacks, the organization offers “Backpacks for Kids.” Children who do not have food at home are given a backpack full of healthy food to eat over the weekend, thus ensuring they don’t go hungry between school days. Their tireless work continues throughout the summer with the “SummerPacks for Kids” and “Summer Meals” programs. With Summer Meals, kids ages 18 and under are offered free meals at select sites. They do not require any registration for the program, nor are there any income guidelines, ensuring any child who shows up hungry will walk away with a full tummy.

The team at TAFB are experts at what they do, and are able to provide as many as five meals from a single dollar donation. Financial and food donors, volunteers, and partners all make it possible for TAFB to do the work it does. If you’d like to give financially to Tarrant Area Food Bank, you may do so at TAFB.org. The site also hosts a wealth of information about its various programs, other ways you can help, and details on how to get food if you’re hungry. You can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube too.

We’re Proud of Our Partners

At RefillWise, we support the efforts of numerous community organizations, including Hunger Busters, Equal Heart, and TAFB. Through these nonprofits, our community becomes stronger and healthier, and we’re honored to make our free RefillWise cards available to their employees, volunteers, and clients. Our cards can be used for discounts on all prescription medicine and equipment available at a pharmacy. If you have interest in obtaining our cards for your employees, clients, or volunteers, contact us today to learn more about RefillWise partnerships. Individuals may also receive a free RefillWise prescription discount card any time by signing up on our website or by texting JOIN to 22822.

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