The Story of 16 Million Hungry Kids, as Told By One
(Washington, DC) — One in five children in the U.S. struggles with hunger. To illustrate the problem of childhood hunger beyond the staggering statistics, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign today premiered "The Story of Hungry," a short, animated film depicting the destructive forces of hunger, on the Rachael Ray show. Told through the eyes of a young girl, the film demonstrates the fear and pain hunger causes – and how something as simple rethinking how school meals are served can change a child’s day, week and even his or her future.
"I believe in an America where no child sees or fears hunger," said Rachael Ray, bestselling author, daytime show host and founder of the Yum-o! organization, which has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to support No Kid Hungry’s work surrounding school breakfast. "The kitchen is my classroom. It’s where I learn, experiment and grow. But for too many children, success is out of reach because they come to school too hungry to learn," she said.
"There are 16 million kids in America who struggle with hunger, and that’s 16 million too many," said No Kid Hungry spokesperson and Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges, who lends his voice to the narration at the end of the film. "The No Kid Hungry campaign is working to end childhood hunger in America by making sure kids get the healthy food they need every day, so they can grow, learn, lead and create. By showing what it really feels like to be a child who can’t count on regular meals, we’re hoping to inspire others to join us in changing the story of childhood hunger in America."
"The Story of Hungry" follows the impact having access to regular meals like school breakfast can have on kids struggling with hunger. According to a report from the No Kid Hungry campaign, students who eat breakfast score nearly 18 percent higher on tests and attend 1.5 more days of school each year, on average. However, of the more than 21 million low-income kids in the United States who rely on a free or reduced-price school lunch, only half are also getting a school breakfast. A variety of barriers affect participation in the School Breakfast Program, including transportation issues and the stigma associated with eating away from classmates.
By rethinking how breakfast is served – in the classroom or after the bell, for example – the No Kid Hungry campaign is working to ensure more kids start their day off right. Since Summer 2011, the No Kid Hungry campaign has helped schools serve 28 million more school breakfasts to kids in need.
"Along with my Yum-o! organization, I’m deeply committed to making sure kids have a healthy start in life, and connecting them to school breakfast is one of the most important ways that we can do that," said Ray. "Together, we’re going to change the story for kids facing hunger."
Viewers can be part of the solution. Watch and share "The Story of Hungry" today at www.StoryofHungry.org and start the conversation about how you can help end childhood hunger in your own community.
About Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray is best known as the host of the hit syndicated Emmy Award winning daytime television show, Rachael Ray, produced by CBS Television Distribution in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment. Rachael’s warmth, energy, and boundless curiosity also reaches scores of fans through her popular Food Network shows, bestselling cookbooks, her own line of cookware created by Meyer, knives by Furitechnics, signature food ingredients by Colavita and lifestyle magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray. In 2007, Rachael launched the Yum-o! organization, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. In 2008 she partnered with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition to create a line of pet food, of which all her proceeds are donated to organizations that help animals in need. For more information, visit www.rachaelray.com.
About the Yum-o! Organization
Yum-o!® is Rachael Ray’s nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships. By providing the tools to create easy, affordable and delicious meals, Yum-o! is changing the way America eats. For more information about the Yum-o! organization, visit www.yum-o.org.
About Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® Campaign
No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals through Cooking Matters. This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, public officials, nonprofits, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.
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