(BENTONVILLE) – On Monday, the Walmart Foundation announced that it has launched a summer initiative focused on increasing the access of children and their families towards healthy and nutritious food, so that they can remain healthy while their schools are off. In this way, the children will also learn healthy eating habits. The foundation donated USD 15 million so as to provide free meals as well as nutrition education programs to around 1.4 million children and families in as many as 1,500 communities.
The organizations that will be receiving grant from the Walmart foundation include; National 4-H Council, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Children’s Health Fund, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and YMCA of USA.
In addition to this, Walmart has also started a five week Eat Healthy Together Challenge, as part of its initiative, that would recommend the families to cook and eat healthy food together throughout this summer.
Earlier this month, a new FRAC report revealed that the number of children taking part in the Summer Nutrition Programs of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) increased last year. However, the need to increase the access to safe meals during the summer vacations still remains a concern. Last year, just one out of every seven children who needed meals during the summer, actually received them. Vast majority of the children were left vulnerable to poor meals, that ultimately left negative impacts on their health and growth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that eating healthy food reduces the risk of disease in a children, helps in maintaining proper growth as well as development, and also boosts their thinking capabilities and mood.
Julie Gehrki, the senior Director of the Walmart Foundation, said, “We know that summer can be a challenging time for millions of children who rely on the nutrition from free or reduced cost school meals. Through our relationships with dedicated nonprofit organizations, this summer, we will further our commitment to help people gain access to healthy foods and develop nutritious eating habits. We are proud to support this work which will reach over a million children and families in more than 1,500 communities.”