“What Will You Bring to the Table?”
There are nearly 17 million kids in the United States who encounter hunger at any given time throughout the year. More than one in five kids does not know where their next meal is coming from.
Inspired by the work of nonprofits leading the fight to end child hunger, including Feeding America, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry and Bread for the World, generationOn created “What Will You Bring to the Table?” with a goal of engaging 300,000 kids and teens to raise one million meals for children experiencing hunger in the United States.
“We know that youth of all ages have the power and ingenuity to make their mark on complex issues like hunger,” said Concetta Bencivenga, executive director at generationOn. “And, with the help of presenting sponsor ConAgra Foods and corporate partners – Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. and Arby’s Foundation, Hasbro, Inc., Hilton Worldwide, the Hub Network and others – we want to ignite the passion and creativity of young people who want to have an impact on child hunger in their communities.”
Child hunger can’t be solved by one group alone and requires a multitude of entities in collaboration - government, nonprofit, corporate, youth clubs, schools, families, and the media - to come to the table together to work on solutions. Food drives and fundraising are only one part of the equation, in addition to legislative action and policy change, as expressed in the new documentary by Participant Media, “A Place at the Table.”
“People may not realize how prevalent child hunger is in the United States. It could affect your neighbor or your child’s classmate and that’s unacceptable. No child should ever have to worry about having enough to eat,” said Kori Reed, vice president Cause and the ConAgra Foods Foundation. “We’re committed to finding solutions to the issue, and that’s why we’re proud to work with generationOn – to mobilize youth, lift their voices and enable them to be part of the solution to help end child hunger.”
Asking kids the question, “What Will You Bring to the Table?” generationOn invites kids to put their ideas in action and incite change. Young people from Anchorage, Alaska to Essex Junction, Vermont are responding to this call to action by identifying solutions ranging from creating community gardens in schools, to turning a teen center into a food resource center, launching community awareness campaigns, raising money and contacting their local representatives. Here is a selection of some of the many activities taking place today:
- Dallas, TX – The Volunteer Center of North Texas, in partnership with WEE Volunteer, is mobilizing parents and kids to support the North Texas Food Bank "Food for Kids" Program. Event attendees will bring non-perishable food items and cash donations, and write personal pledges to end child hunger on a tablecloth.
- Detroit, MI – A Loyola High School math class is building a 10-foot long table for the entire school to collect and stack hundreds of donated goods. The world history students are working to make ”history” by raising the most meals and have put together brochures with facts about child hunger and are conducting webinars and presentations to encourage students and the community to participate. All items will be donated to the local food bank.
- St. Paul, MN – The South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force is launching a community-wide food drive, calling on thousands of local kids and teens and the entire community of South St. Paul to help raise 1,500 pounds of food over the next two weeks. An iconic tablecloth is being created to raise awareness of child hunger and will be presented to Mayor Beth A. Baumann, the City Council and other business leaders, community leaders and youth organizations.
- Rockville, MD – Cast members at the Finest Performance Foundation – a traveling theater company – and their friends and families are decorating a quilt that answers the question "What Will You Bring to the Table?" The quilt will hang during the Foundation's performances through April 30 to raise awareness about child hunger in America.
- Anchorage, AK – The Campbell County 4-H program is mobilizing 170 of its 6th grade youth members to help 100 families whose children have no breakfast on the weekends. They are also working with the PTA to build a table and create a tablecloth as a reminder and inspiration to continue supporting families in need after the campaign ends.
GenerationOn also awarded more than 200 mini-grants to elementary through high school aged kids, in school and after-school programs and youth service clubs, to help jump start their service projects. To see how kids throughout the country put their grants to use to help raise one million meals for child hunger, go to www.WhatWillYouBringToTheTable.org.
Anyone who wants to get involved in fighting child hunger can do so by visiting www.WhatWillYouBringtotheTable.org for more information and to share stories. Parents, teachers and youth leaders can encourage kids to participate, and kids can inspire their friends, classmates and peers to commit to help others. Some ideas include:
- Launching a letter-writing campaign to legislators
- Organizing a rally to advocate for more funding for hunger-related initiatives
- Holding a food drive
- Planning and building a community garden
- Hosting a fundraiser to support a local food bank
- Making “Breakfast Boxes” for families that need help getting an important start to the day.
The more kids and teens who volunteer, the bigger the impact!
GenerationOn is the global youth service movement igniting the power of kids to make their mark on the world. As Points of Light’s youth service enterprise, generationOn inspires, equips and mobilizes youth to take action through generationOn service clubs, schools, youth organizations, campaigns and youth leadership initiatives. It also provides tools and resources to youth, families and educators to help kids change the world and themselves through service. For more information, visit www.generationon.org.
About Points of Light
Points of Light – the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it matters most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.
About ConAgra Foods
ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's largest packaged food companies. Its balanced portfolio includes consumer brands found in 97 percent of America’s households, the largest private brand packaged food business in North America, and a strong commercial and foodservice business. Consumers can find recognized brands such as Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hebrew National®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®, Orville Redenbacher's® popcorn, PAM®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-wip®, Slim Jim® beef jerky, Snack Pack® and many other ConAgra Foods brands, plus food sold under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club stores and drugstores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong commercial foods presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice, bakery and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. ConAgra Foods operates ReadySetEat.com, an interactive recipe website that provides consumers with dinner ideas and more. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.