Parents working to lift their families out of homelessness will find it easier to put healthy, nutritious meals on the table for their children this year, thanks to a $15,000 No Kid Hungry grant to Family Renew Community.
Share our Strength, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit behind the No Kid Hungry campaign, awarded the funds in March. Family Renew will use the funds to acquire, store and distribute fresh produce, low-fat dairy and lean meat to the homeless and formerly homeless families it serves.
Each of Family Renew Community’s 32 apartments for homeless families with children has a kitchen. Parents are responsible for obtaining and preparing healthy at-home meals. Virtually all of our families rely on government SNAP benefits — commonly referred to as food stamps, though the stamps were long ago replaced with debit cards.
This monthly assistance is much-needed and much-appreciated, but a family’s card balance almost always hits zero with many days left until the next recharge. And with prices of fresh produce, low-fat dairy and lean meat comparatively high, budget-stretching moms and dads may be reluctant to put these nutritional powerhouse foods into their shopping carts.
Family Renew maintains a small food pantry on each of its three residential campuses for families experiencing homelessness — in Holly Hill, Daytona Beach and DeLand—to help fill the gaps. Those pantries, which also can be accessed by formerly homeless families served though Family Renew’s follow-up initiative, typically contains donated nonperishables and baked goods nearing their expiration date.
The No Kid Hungry grant will allow mean fresher and more nutritious food on the table for children.