FORT WAYNE, IND. – SEPT. 2, 2021 – Parkview Health is using a $25,000 grant to help decrease food insecurity among 100 Fort Wayne families with young children.
The grant comes from No Kid Hungry, a campaign from the national nonprofit Share Our Strength. The organization is awarding $3 million in grants focused on helping young children because last year 40 percent of parents reported job or income loss related to the pandemic, and more than one in five parents reported food insecurity in their household.
“Food insecurity in the early years can have an immediate and lasting impact on overall health, learning, school readiness and behavior,” said Caron Gremont, director of early childhood for the No Kid Hungry campaign. “These flexible, year-long grants will help organizations provide healthy food to young kids and their families at this critical time.”
Parkview’s grant is being used to provide monthly boxes of produce and shelf-stable food to immigrant or minority families with children under age 5, as well as pregnant women. Each box will include three meal kits with recipes, as well as feeding and food storage tips. Families will also be connected to local food banks or food assistance programs as needed.
“Our goal is to provide more than healthy foods. We want to teach families about cooking, feeding and food storage to help them make use of every item in the box,” said Michelle A. Bojrab-Wray, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, lead community outreach dietician, Parkview Health. “We know that good nutrition is crucial to giving children a healthy start in life. With these boxes, we want to teach families that healthy, tasty meals are possible, even on a limited budget.”
A total of 100 families will be served through the program. The first group of 50 families started receiving boxes in June and will continue the program for five months. Another group of 50 families will begin receiving boxes in December. The families are being identified through referrals from Parkview’s Community Health Workers and the Early Childhood Alliance.