I had the honor of participating in the kick-off of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 12. I say it was an honor because of the importance of the project and the dedication and sincerity of the partners who have come together to make it happen.
Share Our Strength is an important partner in our efforts to combat hunger and improve the nutrition of Americans in need. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees 15 nutrition assistance programs that serve as a national safety net against hunger and serve one in four people over the course of a year. These programs are critical to the health and well being of so many people which is why we’ll continue to seek the help of partners on all levels — federal, local, state, nonprofit and community to ensure all those eligible for nutrition assistance can access these programs. The No Kid Hungry campaign seeks to increase participation in federal nutrition assistance programs including School Breakfast Program and the Summer Food Service Program. Very timely, as Congress works to strengthen our child nutrition programs by reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act. With a strong reauthorization bill, we can ensure that our children have a healthy start in life and provide the nutritional foundation that will carry them through to adulthood.
So overall, I have a good feeling about our chances for making a real difference in New Orleans and for children nationwide. At the No Kid Hungry kick-off, it was great to see students from Success Preparatory Academy, a New Orleans charter school, participate in the event. Seeing these kids put a face on the group we are serving and showed us how children can succeed when they have access to steady and healthy meals, and a nurturing school environment.