In an effort to build citywide campaigns to reduce hunger in local communities, the National League of Cities (NLC) is bringing fourteen cities to Kansas City, Missouri, in late May to participate in the CHAMPS Cities Combating Hunger Leadership Academy, with these cities becoming eligible for grants and technical assistance to meet their goals.
Cities participating in the Leadership Academy were chosen because of the commitment of their leadership to reduce hunger and to strengthen or expand afterschool or summer meal programs, coupled with their potential to develop strong citywide campaigns that encourage the entire community to act to address hunger.
Several of these cities will integrate ongoing work centered on healthy eating, resident wellness, and addressing intergenerational poverty into their anti-hunger campaigns. The list of cities includes:
- Allentown, Pennsylvania
- Denton, Texas
- Durham, North Carolina
- Henderson, Nevada
- Inglewood, California
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Mesa, Arizona
- Miami, Florida
- Miami Gardens, Florida
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Spokane, Washington
- Waco, Texas
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina
“The CHAMPS Cities Combating Hunger project is yet another example of how cities are taking the lead on the most important issues that impact America,” said National League of Cities President Mark Stodola, mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas. “Improving health and nutrition are among my top priorities and I am glad for this opportunity for Little Rock to learn and implement successful strategies from other cities to reduce childhood hunger, together.”
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At the Leadership Academy, participating cities will gain access to, and guidance from field experts and broaden their relationships with peers in cities across the country working to address hunger. Sessions will provide guidance on how cities can utilize federal nutrition programs to expand access to meals, as well as strategies to engage elected officials, families, and the whole community in anti-hunger efforts.
Since 2012, the Walmart Foundation has supported NLC, working in close partnership with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), to help local leaders reduce childhood hunger in their communities by expanding participation in out-of-school meal programs. This work is part of Walmart and Walmart Foundations’ commitment to provide 4 billion meals to people by 2020. In the last six years, NLC and FRAC have helped 71 cities in more than 20 states provide over 12 million nutritious meals to children through the CHAMPS project.
Over the next two years, with continued support from the Walmart Foundation, NLC and FRAC will expand on this work and help a group of cities create anti-hunger campaigns with a focus on the role that city leadership can play in addressing hunger. These campaigns will, at their core, allow cities to expand or strengthen their out-of-school meal programs.
For more information about city-led anti-hunger campaigns, contact Patrick Hain at (202) 626-3099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author: Patrick Hain is principal associate for Financial Empowerment in the NLC Institute for Youth, Education, and Families.