Close to 49 million people in the United States struggle with food insecurity – that is nearly 16 percent of the population. Your friends, family and neighbors could be at risk. Almost 16 million children are among those who face not knowing where their next meal will come from. It is something so many of us take for granted.
In fact, recent statistics show that more than 7,500 elementary-age students in Albany County alone receive free or reduced-price lunch at school. While school-based programs help alleviate food insecurity during the week, children in need may go hungry on the weekends. To help combat this issue, organizations such as the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York are stepping up with programs that provide food for those children and their families.
Through the Regional Food Bank’s BackPack Program, students in grades K-6 receive a backpack filled with nutritious, easy-to-prepare foods to take home over the weekend. As the need continues to grow, so does the program. Currently, the BackPack Program serves 1,900 children in nearly 70 schools throughout 14 counties in the Capital Region, Hudson Valley and northern New York.
With more than 900,000 children living in food insecure homes in New York state, the need for these programs is evident. That’s why CDPHP® is proud to support the BackPack Program as our 14th annual CDPHP Holiday Appeal. Throughout the month of December, CDPHP will make a dollar-for-dollar match of donations made to the Regional Food Bank and marked for the CDPHP Holiday Appeal, up to $10,000.
Not only does this program provide the food needed to help stave off hunger, it also helps improve the health and well-being of these children. Feeding America says children growing up in food-insecure homes face issues such as chronic health conditions, obesity and increased behavioral problems. They may also have trouble concentrating, which can lead to poor academic performance.
With your help, we can ease these issues. During this holiday season, as you open your heart to support a good cause, CDPHP and the Regional Food Bank would like you to consider making a donation to the CDPHP Holiday Appeal to help fight childhood hunger – one backpack at a time.
Photo above: Students from Myers Middle School in Albany pack up food for the elementary school recipients of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York BackPack Program.