Action Ministries Announces Smart Lunch, Smart Kid Exceeds Goal for Third Straight Year

8/29/2014

Program Exceeds Goal of Serving 200,000 Healthy Meals to Children During Summer Months

Leaders of Action Ministries have announced that, thanks to widespread community support, the nonprofit’s Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program that had hoped to serve 200,000 healthy lunches to Georgia’s children was instead able to exceed its goal and serve 219,515 lunches this summer.
 
More than 2,000 volunteers donated 23,000 volunteer hours with a market value of $477,710 to the community to make and serve the lunches to an estimated 24,390 individual children across the state.
 
Designed to help the thousands of Georgia children who are at risk of hunger, the Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program was created to assist the more than 800,000 students in Georgia who receive a free or reduced-price lunch during the school year but do not have access to this important meal when the school year ends. Through its Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program, Action Ministries was able to coordinate the work of local volunteers and organizations and lead them in their successful efforts to provide children with healthy meals and educational enrichment opportunities.
 
“We have exceeded our goals each year of the Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program since its inception three years ago, and 2014 was the best year yet,” said John R. Moeller, Jr., president and CEO of Action Ministries.  “We were only able to serve that many lunches because our 200 partnering organizations and volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life chose to be Life-Changers for Georgia’s kids. Because of them and their generosity, we were able to erase hunger in Georgia this summer.”
 
“Thanks to Smart Lunch, Smart Kid, thousands of children who are now back in school had the healthy meals they needed to help their minds grow during the summer and start the school year off right,” continued Moeller.
 
“Smart Lunch, Smart Kid teaches us that everyone – whether the employee of a big corporation or a small community bank, a Girl Scout or Boy Scout, a teacher, a church youth group leader or a family honoring the servant’s heart of the daughter they lost – can have an impact on the children of Georgia,” said Mark Hellman, executive director of hunger relief programs for Action Ministries. “What happened in these cities can happen in any town in Georgia next year. We hope to raise the bar again in 2015, and we invite communities to join us and bring Smart Lunch, Smart Kid to their children in need.”
 
According to Action Ministries’ representatives, research shows proper nutrition in childhood plays an important role in a young person’s physical and mental growth. 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.
 
Each weekday – from the first through the last day of summer vacation – Smart Lunch, Smart Kid volunteers fanned 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.
 
Smart Lunch, Smart Kid 2014 statewide sponsors include Arby’s Foundation, Gas South, Sam’s Club, 11Alive WXIA, Walmart Foundation and WellCare of Georgia. Walmart and its associates supported the program through financial support, donations of time and essential food items pivotal to the initiative’s success.
 
For more information about the 2015 program, contact Mark Hellman of Action Ministries at mhellman@actionministries.net or 770-905-9191 or Andrea Fowler, vice president for programs at afowler@actionministries.net or 404-824-3019. For the most up-to-date information, visit www.Facebook.com/ActionMinistriesSmartLunchSmartKid.


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