Action Ministries to Begin Third Year of Smart Lunch, Smart Kid
Volunteer Opportunities Now Available with Program that Provides
Healthy Meals to Children of Georgia During Summer Months
Leaders of Action Ministries have announced that they have officially kicked off the third year of Smart Lunch, Smart Kid, the organization’s child nutrition and educational enrichment opportunity program. Created to help the thousands of Georgia children at risk of hunger, the program that will start on June 2nd gives children in communities all across the state access to healthy meals and educational enrichment opportunities during the summer months. Volunteer opportunities are now available.
During the first two years of the program Action Ministries was able to serve more than 300,000 healthy lunches to Georgia children in 20 cities across the state. In 2014, the program aims to serve 200,000 lunches and will be refining the program by working with new partners, reaching deeper into communities it serves now to help even more children and offering more enrichment opportunities.
“Thanks to our many volunteers and corporate partners Smart Lunch, Smart Kid has been able to expand each year,” said John R. Moeller, Jr., president and CEO of Action Ministries. “There is still a tremendous need for this program because we know a child’s mind does not stop growing during the summer and their access to healthy meals should not stop either.”
In 2014, the organization plans to serve lunches to children in 25 Georgia cities near Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Carrollton, College Park, Fayetteville, Flovilla, Gainesville, Jackson, Jenkinsburg, Peachtree City, Rome, Stone Mountain and Tucker.
Each weekday – from the first day through the last day of summer vacation – Smart Lunch, Smart Kid volunteers will fan out through communities to distribute healthy lunches prepared by members of the community to children who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the regular school year.
“Research shows proper nutrition in childhood plays an important role in a young person’s physical and mental growth,” said John R. Moeller, Jr., president and CEO of Action Ministries. “But, according to hunger experts, significantly high percentages of children in Georgia are classified as ‘food insecure’
meaning they have limited or uncertain access to adequate food and are at risk of hunger.”
“Our local volunteers and organizations recognize that they can have an impact on the lives of local children and help families shed the burden of searching for their next meal,” said Mark Hellman, executive director of the Action Ministries hunger relief programs. “You can play a part in helping to make sure that children in our area go to bed knowing they will have a healthy meal the next day. The time is right for you to become a life-changer – become a part of Smart Lunch, Smart Kid today.”
According to Action Ministries representatives, the Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program was created because every day in Georgia more than 800,000 students receive a free or reduced-price lunch. When the school year ends, so does their access to this important meal.
Using the most up-to-date data available, a local Action Ministries coordinator has identified communities of greatest need and determined suitable distribution sites. Under the guidance of this coordinator, volunteers and organizations will work together to make, package and deliver up to 1,200 healthy sack lunches per day to children in the area who are not served by other programs.
Statewide sponsors include Amerigroup, the Arby’s Foundation, Central Georgia EMC, Chick-fil-A Foundation, Gas South, St. Mary’s Hospital of Athens, The Woodmark Foundation, Walmart Foundation, WellCare and WXIA 11Alive.
For more information about the program, contact Mark Hellman, executive director of the hunger relief programs of Action Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-905-9191 or Rachel Ruckart, lead local coordinator, at RRuckart@actionministries.net or 404-593-8190. For the most up-to-date information visit ActionMinistries.net.