Combating Hunger During a Pandemic
“We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams, because, in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children.”
— Michelle Obama
It has been well documented that during the current pandemic, food insecurity in America has increased, especially in households with young children.
Food insecurity occurs when a household has difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of resources.
On the flip side, a recent article by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation cited research that suggests that obesity leads to a greater risk of becoming severely ill from diseases such as COVID-19.
Children’s Council is piloting new projects to address food insecurity, and has been working to scale our innovative Healthy Apple program that establishes early healthy habits for children who might otherwise be at risk of obesity:
- Family Meal Pass Initiative: we are partnering with Mission Meals Coalition to provide 60 families who are receiving a child care subsidy with a pass that can be redeemed for three family meals from a local restaurant each week. Meals will be available for pick up at local community sites, such as the Bayview YMCA and Family Resource Centers throughout the city.
- Child Care Educator Meals Initiative: we are sponsoring 14 child care educators who participate in our Child Care Food Program to prepare and distribute three meals per week to each of the 105 families in their care, regardless of whether their site is currently open or closed. This will impact food insecurity for child care educators (the vast majority of whom closed or had significantly reduced income due to the pandemic) and for the households of children in their care.
- We recently completed a successful peer mentorship pilot of our evidence-based Healthy Apple Program, where our inaugural cohort of child care educator “Community Champions” received intensive training on how to mentor and coach their peer child care educators to implement best practices in nutrition and physical activity at their child care sites. As a result of the pilot, an additional 113 children benefitted from healthy changes to their child care environment.
We need your help to keep these critical initiatives going – and to expand them in collaboration with partners across the Bay Area – providing children with access to fresh, healthy foods and healthy habits from an early age.