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Harvesters—The Community Food Network announces the food bank has received a $50,000 grant from Tyson Foods for its BackSnack program. This investment will fund 170,000 BackSnacks. Harvesters currently distributes nearly 20,000 BackSnacks a week to area students.
“We are very grateful to Tyson Foods for this grant,” says Valerie Nicholson-Watson, Harvesters President and CEO. “One in six children in our service area are food insecure, meaning they may have a meal today but don’t know if they will have a meal tomorrow. We know when children have access to enough nutritious food, they can grow, be healthier, and be successful in school. This grant will help us achieve this.”
Harvesters’ BackSnack program provides a backpack filled with nutritious, child-friendly food for schoolchildren to take home over the weekend. More than 100,000 children in Harvesters' service area receive free and reduced-price school meals during the week, and many of those are at risk of hunger on weekends. BackSnack is a partnership between Harvesters, a participating school and a local community partner—usually a corporate, civic or religious organization. Harvesters provides the food and the backpacks. The local community partners help facilitate picking up the BackSnack food kits from Harvesters and distributing them to the schools. School principals and/or counselors determine which children receive BackSnacks at each school.
This announcement also marks a significant step toward reaching the company’s 50-in-5 commitment, an effort to address hunger in Tyson Foods communities by donating $50 million in cash and in-kind donations by 2020.