Lincoln Parks and Recreation has received a $30,000 grant to support its summer food service program for children from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The grant is part of a $1.5 million grant received by NRPA from the Walmart Foundation to support summer feeding programs in 28 park and recreation agencies across the U.S.
In conjunction with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, Parks and Recreation offers the Summer Food program and after-school snacks at five recreation centers and two Community Learning Centers (CLCs).
"Many of these sites are in neighborhoods with high poverty levels," said Lynn Johnson, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. "Without these meals and snacks, many children would experience hunger, malnutrition and the resulting negative health consequences. Providing these meals and snacks also brings children and families to the recreation centers and CLCs, where they can exercise, learn more about good nutrition and access other community-based support services."
The grant is part of Walmart's Summer Giving Campaign, a $20 million initiative aimed at filling the gaps created when schools close for the summer. The initiative will help expand nutrition, learning and employment services to children throughout the summer months.
According to a report released by the Food Research and Action Center this month, only one in seven of the low-income students who depended on the National School Lunch Program during the regular 2010-2011 school year received summer meals in July 2011.
"Park and recreation agencies are on the frontline in the fight to reduce hunger especially among children," says Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA. "The generous gift from the Walmart Foundation will help our local champions provide nutritious meals for millions of children and support the development of a healthy, connected and active generation of Americans."
This is the third year, NRPA has awarded grants to park and recreation agencies for feeding programs that have served more than 16 million meals to low-income children, an increase of 3.7 million meals over 2009 figures. More information on NRPA's summer feeding support is available at nrpa.org/feeding.
More information on Walmart's initiative is available at walmartfoundation.org.
For more information about the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Summer Food Program, contact Melissa Harris, Program Monitor, at 402-441-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org