Press Release: City of Tallahassee/Mayor's Office
TALLAHASSEE, FL– A grant proposal submitted by the City of Tallahassee in partnership with the Tallahassee Housing Authority, America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend and Florida Impact was awarded $45,000 by the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Food Action Research Center (FRAC). The grant funds, which were offered through the NLC’s Cities Combating Hunger through Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs (CHAMPS), will be used to expand local participation in federal Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs. In addition, a portion of the funding will be dedicated to exploring the creation of a mobile meal site to serve Leon County.
“Child hunger is an often ignored and truly heartbreaking issue, and our community is dedicated to doing all that we can to ensure no child is left hungry,” said Mayor John Marks, whose office submitted the grant application in partnership with the City’s Economic and Community Development Department. “This grant will fund the infrastructure needed to provide nearly 75,000 additional suppers per year to young people in Tallahassee and Leon County.”
Grant eligibility was contingent upon cities designating a team of community representatives and service providers to attend a two-day CHAMPS Leadership Academy in Philadelphia in June 2013. Tallahassee’s team consisted of a representative from the Mayor’s Office and representatives from the Tallahassee Housing Authority, America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend and Florida Impact. Tallahassee was one of 21 cities selected to participate in the training course. There, city teams met with federal nutrition program experts to discuss program guidelines and best practices, methods of leveraging federal funding sources, and the importance of community-wide partnerships when addressing food insecurity among children.
“It’s encouraging to see our community working as a team to bring home resources that will improve the quality of life for our residents,” said Andrea Wilson, director of Resident Initiatives for the Tallahassee Housing Authority. “The Tallahassee Housing Authority is thrilled to be working with our partner organizations and to do all that we can to reduce the number of hungry children in our community.”
“City leaders can play a unique role in bringing the community together to combat childhood hunger,” said National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony. “NLC looks forward to working with the City of Tallahassee and its local partners as they utilize federal resources to expand access to afterschool and summer meals.”
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the official nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents. www.nlc.org
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States. FRAC works with hundreds of national, state and local nonprofit organizations, public agencies, corporations and labor organizations to address hunger, food insecurity and their root cause, poverty. As Congress Daily has written, FRAC is “the premier anti-hunger group in Washington.” www.frac.org
The Combating Hunger through Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs (CHAMPS) initiative is designed to help cities increase the number of children receiving healthy meals at afterschool and summer programs by drawing on two key U.S. Department of Agriculture funding sources: the Afterschool Meal Program (AMP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). These funds provide federal reimbursement to city, school district and nonprofit organizations that offer meals to children and youth who participate in out-of-school time programs. www.nlc.org