Action Ministries’ Sixth Year of Smart Lunch, Smart Kid
Summer Feeding and Enrichment Program that served over 8,000 Children in Georgia
ATLANTA – September 2017 –Action Ministries, Inc. wrapped up their sixth year of Smart Lunch, Smart Kid, the organization’s nutrition and educational enrichment program for Georgia’s kids, on August 4.
Each weekday from May 30 to Aug. 4, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid volunteers prepared and distributed healthy lunches, books and summer skill building activities to children who are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches during the regular school year but do not have sufficient access to meals during the summer months. Since 2012, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid has served more than 1 million healthy lunches to Georgia’s children.
Why Smart Lunch?
1.2 million students qualify for free or reduced price meals during the school year. What happens when school is not in session? 85% of these kids do not have access to much food. Too many of our kids will continue to feel the negative effects hunger has on their bodies and minds: Poor academic performance, inability to concentrate, stomach pains and headaches. No child should experience this. Action Ministries works to change this.
In partnership with volunteers and sponsors from local corporate, civic, educational, and religious organizations, Action Ministries delivered 203,145 healthy sack lunches to 8,224 children in areas not serviced by other programs. Meals reached children in 18 Georgia counties comprising of Barrow, Butts, Carroll, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Douglas, DeKalb, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, McDuffie, Newton, Paulding, and Richmond counties.
Statewide sponsors include 11Alive, Amerigroup, Chick-fil-A Foundation, Enterprise Holdings, Gas South, Georgia’s Own Credit Union, the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, United Way of Greater Atlanta, and Walmart Foundation.
Why Smart Kid?
Children who can’t read proficiently by the end of third grade are more likely to experience poor health, have discipline problems, perform poorly in math, become teen parents, and drop out of school. As adults, they’re more likely to spend time in prison, struggle with unemployment, and face shorter life expectancies. Four of five high school dropouts were not reading proficiently by the end of the third grade. Right now, 64% of Georgia’s fourth graders are not reading proficiently. More than 70% of non-proficient students share one thing in common. Poverty.
This summer, Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid volunteers stepped up to “get Georgia reading.” Thousands of children who are growing up in poverty, across 15 Georgia counties, are now more prepared to succeed in school as they return to the classroom this fall. Smart Lunch, Smart Kid volunteers delivered over 37,660 hours of onsite reading & summer enrichment, to 3,576 children, during summer lunch programming in their neighborhoods. These “Smart Kids” also received free books to read at home (courtesy of the Office of Superintendent Richard Woods and the Georgia Department of Education), totaling more than 21,648 books handed out at Smart Lunch, Smart Kid sites from June 1-July 31, 2017.
Thank you to all our volunteers and partners for helping to end hunger and poverty in Georgia.
Volunteers and donations are needed year-round to help end childhood hunger in Georgia. For more information, please contact Amy Olvey, hunger programs director, at AOlvey@ActionMinistries.net or 678-469-6215.
About Action Ministries
Smart Lunch, Smart Kid is a program of Action Ministries, a nonprofit that provides an extensive network of community partners and volunteers with the tools and expertise to lead fellow Georgians out of poverty. By meeting basic needs of hunger relief, housing and education, Action Ministries removes barriers that prevent thousands of Georgians from breaking the cycle of poverty and realizing their potential. Last year, more than 100,000 individuals were served and many more lives changed by Action Ministries; however, according to the U.S. census, Georgia has the ninth highest poverty rate in the country and the need for services and support are much greater. For more information visit www.actionministries.net or www.facebook.com/ActionMinistriesinGeorgia.
Contact: Christal M. Cherry, Action Ministries
404-881-1991 ext. 5620, firstname.lastname@example.org