August 24, 2018
Contact: Tamara Baker, No Kid Hungry NC, 919.951.9282 or TamaraBaker@UNC.edu
Charlotte, NC – The national anti-hunger campaign No Kid Hungry has announced five winners of its 2018 Summer Meals Hero contest. This year’s inspiring line-up of local champions is proof that it really does take a village to feed kids in the summertime. The winners include individuals from school districts and community organizations across the country who were nominated by members of their local community. Whether they spend their workday in a church, a hospital, or a food truck, these No Kid Hungry summer heroes go above and beyond to change the lives of kids in need.
One of the five recipients of the national award is Elaine Jones, RD, LDN, clinical nutrition manager at Atrium Health’s CHS University. A driving force in pushing for community health initiatives, Elaine was an early champion when CHS University first piloted serving summer meals in the hospital cafeteria in 2017. This year the hospital became its own sponsor, substantially expanding the Kids Eat Free program. “Hunger pains are real and far too numerous,” Jones said. “We all have the ability, opportunity and obligation to end hunger by making food available to our youth.” More than 45,000 kids in Mecklenburg County face hunger.
Summer can be the hungriest time of year for many children from low-income families. When schools close, students no longer get school meals, and families struggle to put food on the table. Summer hunger can have a long-term impact on a child’s health, ability to learn and general well-being. No Kid Hungry and its partners focus on connecting kids to the national Summer Meals Program as a critical way to end childhood hunger.
“Reaching kids during the summer months can be a tough nut to crack, but I’m so inspired by the work that’s happening in communities all across the country,” said Lisa Davis, Senior Director of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. “Thanks to everyday heroes like the amazing folks we’re recognizing today, many more kids will return to school this fall well-nourished and ready to learn.”