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According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 16.7 million children live in households without enough food on the table. At 17.4 percent, Georgia ranks fifth among states with the highest number of families struggling against hunger. As Atlanta-area children head back to school this August, state legislators from across the country want to help. As part of the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit in Atlanta, lawmakers and volunteers will be packing 1,000 backpacks of food for Atlanta-area kids.
Hosted by the NCSL Hunger Partnership and sponsored by Yum! Brands, parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, and the National Restaurant Association, the food will be donated to the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church’s "Snack in a Backpack" program. The event is being coordinated with the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
State lawmakers will be competing to see which state can pack the most backpacks. The state team that packs the most backpacks will win a $5,000 grant for the local hunger relief agency of their choice. Two additional states will win $2,500 grants. The grants are made possible by the Yum! Brands Foundation.
“Hunger is an incredibly important issue, and one I care deeply about,” says Senator Renee Unterman (R-Ga.), co-chair of the NCSL Hunger Partnership. “Events like this demonstrate how much we can achieve when the public and private sectors work together.”
“Hunger is an urban issue, a suburban issue, and a rural issue. Whether it’s here in Georgia or in my state of Pennsylvania, this is an issue that affects everyone in every community,” says Representative Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), co-chair of the NCSL Hunger Partnership.
The kickoff for the event will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 14 at the Georgia World Congress Center (Level 1-Hall B3).
Other organizations helping with the event include the Georgia Association of Food Banks, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta.
The NCSL Hunger Partnership was launched in 2010 to raise the visibility of hunger in America and improve the availability of healthy food for hungry families. The Hunger Partnership links legislators, legislative staff, and private sector partners to identify innovative and successful programs, and crafts bipartisan, balanced, and concise materials and mechanisms to support legislators in their efforts to reduce hunger in America.
All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Legislative Summit are open to the press. On-site registration in the NCSL Press Room is required, but free to credentialed members of the media.
NCSL is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the states, commonwealths, and territories. It provides research, technical assistance, and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.