Six Cities Receive NLC Grants for Anti-Hunger Campaigns

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In a comprehensive campaign to combat childhood hunger at the local level, NLC has selected six member cities to receive grants totaling $750,000 and intensive technical assistance to launch mayor-led city-wide anti-hunger campaigns. The cities selected for the CHAMPS: Cities Combating Hunger grant include:

  • Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Miami Gardens, Florida
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina

As part of a competitive selection process, these cities’ applications demonstrated a commitment by their mayors to lead a city-wide anti-hunger campaign coupled with a willingness to strengthen and expand programs that bring federal nutrition dollars into cities, such as the Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs. Mayors will stand at the helm of each city’s campaign.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is eager to lead efforts in his city.

“We are excited about the rebirth of our great city and our mission is to eliminate hunger in the City of Jackson. This grant will assist in our mission to educate, feed and help reduce the number of undernourished and poverty-stricken citizens,” he said in his support letter accompanying the City of Jackson’s application.

Selected cities also plan to utilize a broad range of city departments to address hunger, including those not typically responsible for this task. Moreover, partnerships cultivated with external local organizations will increase awareness of and uptake in federal nutrition programs, including meal programs for children when they are out of school, and nutrition benefits for families such as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The six cities were selected from 14 cities that attended the CHAMPS: Cities Combating Hunger Leadership Academy held in Kansas City, Missouri in late May. The Leadership Academy offered the cities guidance from field experts and their peers to bolster efforts to reduce hunger, and provided information to help cities complete their applications for NLC’s CHAMPS grants.

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Through 2019, with continued support from the Walmart Foundation, NLC, in partnership with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will work with the selected cities to strengthen their city-wide campaigns and share their lessons learned with the broader NLC membership.

“With mayors at the forefront of local anti-hunger campaigns, we know that cities can improve the health and well-being of children and families in their communities,” said Clifford M. Johnson, executive director of the Nationals League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. “The grant and technical assistance that these CHAMPS cities will receive allows them to find new ways to address hunger and brings the full force of a city, agencies and staff, nonprofit providers and business community leaders together to make sure that children have access to the regular meals they need to grow and thrive.”

Since 2012, the Walmart Foundation has supported NLC, working in close partnership with FRAC, to help local leaders reduce childhood hunger in their communities by expanding participation in out-of-school meal programs. During the six-year partnership, NLC and FRAC have helped cities provide more than 12 million meals to over 140,000 children. This work is part of Walmart and Walmart Foundations’ commitment to provide four billion meals to people by 2020.

For additional information about the CHAMPS project, click here. To learn more about the cities that participated in our CHAMPS Leadership Academy, click here. For more information about city-led anti-hunger campaigns, contact Patrick Hain at (202) 626-3099 or hain@nlc.org.

patrick_hain_headshotAbout the author: Patrick Hain is principal associate for Financial Empowerment in the NLC Institute for Youth, Education, and Families.