National League of Cities CHAMPS Initiative Resulted in 7.5 Million Meals Served to Children

Press Release
Press Release

Announces grants to 13 cities to bring healthy meals to children

Washington, DC - The National League of Cities is awarding 13 cities grants to create programs providing children with afterschool and summer meals. This effort will build on 7.5 million meals that were served over the last 2.5 years under the program.

In addition to grants ranging from $30,000 to $50,000, cities will receive customized technical assistance, access to best practices and national experts, and opportunities for peer learning as they build and expand programs to bring meals to children.

Clarence Anthony, Executive Director at the National League of Cities said, "The cities chosen should be commended for their commitment and willingness to do the hard work to reduce child hunger in their communities. We know that when children don't have access to quality meals it affects their ability to learn and their classroom participation. It is imperative that more cities take advantage of federal resources to implement programs that give children access to meals."

Three groups of cities will receive grants. Ten cities were selected as a new technical assistance cohort:

  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • El Centro, Calif.
  • Fontana, Calif.
  • Jersey City, N.J.
  • Longmont, Colo.
  • New Haven, Conn.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • Pasadena, Calif.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Portland, Maine.

Another three cities will receive grants to act as "faculty" or mentors to an additional six cities that will be chosen at a later date with the input of the faculty cities.

The faculty cities are:

  • Denver, Colo.
  • Gary, Ind.
  • Providence, R.I.

"I am thrilled that the City and County of Denver along with two additional cities will each receive a grant to reduce childhood hunger in the Denver area," said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. He continued, "Since 2012, the City and County of Denver has served our kids over 250,000 meals. I appreciate the support of the National League of Cities and the opportunity these grants provide to shine a spotlight on an important issue in the Denver area and across the country. Together, we can address childhood hunger and prepare our kids to compete and succeed in the 21st century."

Afterschool and summer meal programs fill an enormous need for families as nearly 1 in 4 American families with children suffered from food hardship within the last year. City officials have provided invaluable leadership in creating city-wide systems of afterschool and summer programming and developing anti-hunger awareness campaigns.

The grants are part of the National League of Cities' Institute for Youth, Education & Families' initiative: Cities Combating Hunger Through Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs. CHAMPS is made possible by a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation and in partnership with Food Research and Action Center.

The cities were chosen based on their commitment to and experience in launching or expanding local efforts to create year-round meal opportunities for children through the federal Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

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