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Grant Program to Fund Innovative Solutions to Rural Child Hunger

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022   

Child hunger is a persistent problem in California and across the U.S., especially in rural areas, and now, a new grant program will promote and fund the best ideas from around the country to help solve it.

This week, the nonprofit Save the Children launched its new Rural Child Hunger Research and Innovation Lab, which will ultimately award $100,000 to winning projects.

Tamara Sandberg, senior adviser for food security at Save the Children, said the goal is to replicate successful programs.

"The idea of the Rural Child Hunger Research and Innovation Lab is to lift up ideas from within rural communities, provide them with the support to incubate their ideas, and then funding and technical assistance to try out their ideas," Sandberg outlined.

Sandberg added many rural families have a hard time getting nutritious food simply because of their isolated locations, and they may lack reliable transportation to get to stores with fresh food. Save the Children has distributed bags full of fruits and vegetables to more than one million low-income families in California since the start of the pandemic.

Dino Pliego, assistant state director for Save the Children in California, said the organization's analysis of national data showed hunger among children has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels, which affects the ability of children ability to learn, as well as their health.

"Here in California, a U.S. Census Bureau survey revealed that one in eight households with children reported not having enough food in their homes this past year," Pliego reported. "Kids can't be hungry for knowledge if they are hungry for food."

About 90% of the U.S. counties with the highest child food-insecurity rates are rural, according to the group Feeding America. Community organizations interested in the new grant opportunity must sign up by mid-October, and submit an application for their project by mid-November.

Disclosure: Save the Children contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Early Childhood Education, Education, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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