Generous Safeway and Albertsons shoppers in communities throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington are making a substantial impact for local schools – at a time when students need it the most. As part of the Nourishing Neighbors program and the “Help Feed Families During the Crisis” campaign, $450,000 in emergency grant funding is supporting 159 local schools.
In Oregon, there are more than half a million people who do not get enough to eat, and more than 194,000 of them are children. An estimated 1 in 6 kids nationally lived with food insecurity heading into the pandemic, and now it is expected to be closer to 1 in 4 as more households are struggling with declining income or unemployment.
In partnership with GENYOUth, a national nonprofit that creates healthier school communities, Safeway and Albertsons and other contributors are funding grants to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery. Nationally, more than $10 million has been deployed in emergency funding supporting more than 8,600 schools.
From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will ensure that children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need.
“Our meal program has provided nearly 200,000 meals free of charge to the children in our community over the last 6 months,” said Alex Singer, Nutrition Services Director for Central School District in Independence/Monmouth. “The support from Safeway and Albertsons has shown how communities can rise up and come together to support the needs of children.”
Through donations at the cash register, the Nourishing Neighbors program raises awareness, engages volunteers and raises funds to support innovative and effective programs throughout the country. The program ensures every child in America has access to nutritious food. It is part of the Albertsons Companies Foundation, which has invested over $1 billion in communities nationwide since 2001.
“I truly hope our customers know that when they say yes at the PIN pad, they are helping children in their very neighborhood receive immediate and much needed hunger relief,” said Gineal Davidson, President, Portland Division of Safeway Albertsons.
Amidst the tumultuous and unpredictable year this has been, the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council is sharing positive and inspiring stories like this one as part of their “Thanks4Giving” campaign this week. New stories will be featured on their social media channels every day through Thanksgiving using the hashtag #Thanks4Giving.