ATLANTA – May 2017 –Action Ministries announced that they will launch the sixth year of Smart Lunch, Smart Kid, the organization’s nutrition and educational enrichment opportunity program for Georgia’s kids, on May 30. Created to help 1 million children who are at risk of hunger when school’s out for the summer, the program provides children in communities all across the state with healthy meals and academic enrichment.
Since 2012, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid has served more than 1 million healthy lunches to Georgia children in the neighborhoods where they live, along with enrichment activities and mentoring opportunities to ensure that their minds, as well as their bodies, are nourished.
In 2016-2017, Action Ministries has partnered with the Georgia Department of Education and the Get Georgia Reading Campaign to help children succeed in school. In 2016, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid coordinators and volunteers successfully distributed more than 12,000 books to children. This summer, volunteer teams are gearing up to distribute 30,000 free books and literacy enrichment, along with lunches, at 98 Smart Lunch, Smart Kid sites across 16 Georgia counties, including libraries, schools, parks, churches and housing communities.
“Thanks to our numerous volunteers and corporate partners, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid has been able to expand each year since the program’s inception,” said Kelley Henderson, CEO of Action Ministries. “There is a tremendous need in Georgia because so many kids are at risk of hunger and the academic ‘summer slide.’”
In 2017, the organization, with the help of volunteers, will serve lunches to children in 16 Georgia counties comprising Butts, Carroll, Clarke, Douglas, DeKalb, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, McDuffie, Newton, Oconee, Richmond and Rockdale.
Each weekday from May 30 to Aug. 4, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid volunteers will prepare and distribute healthy lunches to children who are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches during the regular school year.
“Research shows proper nutrition in childhood plays an important role in a young person’s physical and mental growth,” Henderson said. “But, according to hunger experts, one million kids in Georgia are classified as ‘food insecure’ meaning they have limited or uncertain access to adequate food and are at risk of hunger.”
Local Action Ministries coordinators in each community have used the most up-to-date data available to identify communities with the greatest need and have determined suitable distribution sites. Under the guidance of their local coordinator, volunteers and organizations will work together to make, package and deliver up to 1,200 healthy sack lunches per day to children in areas not reached by other programs. In addition, each child will receive at least five books this summer with their lunches and will have access to weekly literacy activities to help them prepare to succeed in school.
Statewide sponsors include 11Alive, Amerigroup, Chick-fil-A Foundation, Enterprise Holdings, Gas South, Georgia’s Own, the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, United Way of Greater Atlanta and Walmart Foundation.
Volunteer opportunities are now available by contacting the local SLSK coordinator: http://actionministries.net/locations/hunger-relief/smart-lunch-smart-kid/2014-locations-and-coordinators/.
For more information about the program, contact Amy Olvey, hunger programs director, at AOlvey@ActionMinistries.net or 678-469-6215.
Download the press release here: Action Ministries to Launch Sixth Year of SLSK