As the final bell nears at schools across America, millions of children await the joys of summer. But for millions more, that closing bell brings uncertainty about when and where their next meal will come from. According to No Kid Hungry, of the 22 million kids who receive a free or reduced-price lunch during the school year, only 17.5 percent receive proper nourishment during the summer months.
This summer, the Arby’s Foundation is helping at-risk kids get the meals they need to succeed by providing more than 10 million meals through a series of local initiatives and a national awareness campaign.
Nationally, Arby's has invested in its partnership with No Kid Hungry to increase access to summer meals in every state, and locally Arby's is focused on new activations in nine markets that will include donating funds, time, and food. The markets include Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Erie, Pennsylvania; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nashville, Tennessee; Omaha, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah; Tampa, Florida; and Quad Cities, Illinois.
Arby’s is leading a series of efforts in these nine cities, including:
- 10 Percent Day: Friday, May 29, in select restaurants within participating markets, Arby’s donated 10 percent of all proceeds to local charitable partners committed to providing meals for children during the summer.
- Fun Monday Events: The Arby’s Foundation will partner with local organizations in the nine markets to host “Fun Monday” meal sites, where children can enjoy a free and wholesome kids meal from Arby’s. “Fun Mondays” are staffed in part by local Arby’s employees and run for six weeks in each market.
- Arby’s Punch Cards: Prior to the last day of school this year, the Arby’s Foundation distributed punch cards through local school systems in all nine markets, which are redeemable for ten free Arby’s kids meals over the summer. These punch cards were then distributed to students in those school systems that rely on meal assistance during the school year. Children who visit the “Fun Mondays” meal sites will also receive punch cards. The Arby’s punch card program will account for more than one million meals donated this summer.
“Childhood hunger is a serious but solvable problem that affects communities large and small across America,” says Paul Brown, CEO, Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. “With more than 16 million children in our country struggling with hunger, Arby’s carries a vision to help end childhood hunger, with a focus on the vulnerable summer months. Summer time can be especially difficult for some children and we strive to provide them with the wholesome meals they need.”
“Since the beginning of Arby’s support of No Kid Hungry, we have stood strong behind our goal of helping to ensure that no child goes hungry,” says Kate Atwood, executive director, Arby’s Foundation. “We are committed to continuing our support on both a national and local level, and are incredibly proud of the role our team members play in making a powerful difference in the communities we serve.”
In addition to the local activations, Arby’s restaurants across the country are teaming up with their guests to help put an end to childhood hunger in America. From August 3 to September 13, 2015, Arby’s will collect donations for the Arby’s Foundation in support of its partnership with No Kid Hungry. Now in its fifth year, the goal of this year’s fundraiser is to raise more than $3.6 million, surpassing last year’s record amount of $3.4 million.
In partnership with No Kid Hungry, the Arby’s Foundation has invested $12.4 million towards ending childhood hunger, especially when school is out, and more than $71 million for youth-related causes since 1986. The Arby’s Foundation has set a goal of providing 50 million additional meals by 2017 to help combat the summer hunger gap.