We are so excited to announce the 2019 Giving2Grow grant recipients. We had many excellent applicants for 2019 and, after careful review, our members voted to donate funds to nine regional organizations that address childhood hunger and food insecurity. There are so many good people doing work on the ground to make sure that children have the nourishment needed to grow and learn.
Here are the grantee organizations – please access more information about each one through their links:
- Angels’ Place – Angels’ Place serves single parents and their children, providing daycare and preschool experiences for young children whose single parents are completing their education. Providing nutritious food to the children and nutrition education to the parents is a big part of their work. Kids also have access to fresh vegetables in a garden on the playground.
- Bible Center Oasis Project – Better Food, Better Me – The Better Food, Better Me program uses a holistic approach to teach students the life cycle of food, the value of good nutrition, and the importance of learning to cook foods that will improve health and well-being. Students grow and prepare food, with a focus on foods from different cultures.
- Fayette County Community Action Agency – Let’s Get Cooking! – Through the Let’s Get Cooking! program, nurses visit pregnant women and mothers with young children from underserved communities in their homes to teach them about nutrition and food preparation. The Nurse-Family Partnership implementing this program provides support for children from gestation through age 2, giving the children a health start to their lives.
- Feed Our Students – Feed Our Students provides packs of shelf-stable and easy to prepare food to children who face food insecurity. The packs are delivered to students on a weekly basis during the school year. In addition, many local businesses and corporations provide volunteers who help to package the food each week.
- Hilltop Urban Farm – The Hilltop Urban Farm is located in the neighborhood of St. Clair, and provides support to several local underserved communities. Hilltop Urban Farm consists of 23 acres of farmland. The program supported by Giving2Grow provides youth nutrition education and cooking workshops both in school and on the farm.
- LeMoyne Community Center – LeMoyne Community Center, located in Washington County,provides many services to low income children and families. Giving2Grow funds help support programs that provide thousands of hot meals to students during the summer months and deliver meals to families in remote rural areas.
- Rainbow Kitchen Kids Café – The Kids Café helps meet the nutritional needs of low-income children by providing participating children with a hot nutritious daily dinner meal. In addition, nutritious snacks are provided to children who go to local libraries after school. Rainbow Kitchen also provides information to participating families about a variety of other services from which they might benefit.
- United Methodist Church Union Kids Meal Network – The Kids Meal Network provides free nutritious hot meals for vulnerable children at many sites in the Greater Pittsburgh area during the out-of-school summer months when children from economically challenged homes are at risk of going hungry. Children also have opportunities to engage in fun and stimulating activities at the meal sites.
- Whitehall Presbyterian Church Food4Kids – In the Food4Kids program, on a weekly basis during the school year, volunteers from the Whitehall Presbyterian Church purchase, put together, and deliver individual bags of food to children at local schools who have been identified as at risk of going hungry over the weekend. The children live in under served communities, and many are from refugee and immigrant families.
In our interactions with the programs, we have learned many things about their work. First, the programs serve children and families who are often overlooked and who might otherwise go hungry; by providing nutritious food to the children, the programs contribute to their healthy growth and development.
Second, many of the programs focus on teaching skills that empower children, youth, and families to choose and prepare nutritious food on their own.
Third, it is not just about food – the programs also build a sense of community with the children and families.
And last, but not least, this sense of community is founded on values of kindness, generosity, compassion, and love. We are honored to contribute to this good work.