Grant ensures hunger-free summer

Volunteers pack boxes of food for a Hunger Free Summer

OHIO VALLEY — One out of four children in southeastern Ohio faces hunger. According to Feeding America, when schools close for summer, kids have less access to nutritious meals as many rely on free or reduced school breakfast and lunch.

The nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America, selected the Southeastern Ohio Foodbank and Kitchen to receive a Hunger Free Summer grant. The grant is funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation to help provide meals to kids when school is out for summer.

“The Hunger Free Summer grant allows us to provide meals to kids, so they don’t have to worry about food, and have more time to run, play and be kids,” said Katie Schmitze, director of the Southeastern Ohio Foodbank and Kitchen. “Working with Feeding America and their partner ConAgra Foods Foundation through the Hunger Free Summer program, they will be able to provide healthy meals to children in Gallia, Jackson, Vinton, Washington, Meigs, and Morgan Counties.”

The Southeastern Ohio Foodbank and Kitchen is one of 23 Feeding America food banks in 15 states that will receive these hunger-free summer grants. The food bank, a division of Hocking Athens Perry Community Action, provides access to affordable, quality food resources to individuals and organizations seeking to mitigate food insecurity and promote good nutrition.

The food bank acts as a distribution center to collect and distribute government funded, donated and purchased food to 58 member agencies across a ten county region that includes Athens, Gallia and Meigs.

As part of the Hunger Free Summer program, bulk boxes of shelf-stable food will be distributed once a week to 360 elementary-age kids this summer.”

Many ConAgra Foods’ products are marked with a red push pin and code. For each eight-digit code entered at this summer, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America®, up to 3 million meals. On every Friday between now and July 31, 2015 1 code = 1 meal plus 1 bonus meal.

Learn more about the Southeastern Ohio Foodbank and Kitchen, visit, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Lorna Hart can be reached at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2551