ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Convenience Stores Can Help Solve Childhood Hunger,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard and Carolyn Schnare talk with Share Our Strength about the important role convenience stores can play in ending childhood hunger.
The statistics are heartbreaking: One in six kids in America—some 13 million children—will face hunger this year. Share Our Strength, an national anti-hunger organization, created its No Kid Hungry campaign to address that issue by working with convenience stores, restaurants and other vendors.
“Because they’re hungry, it’s impeding their learning, it’s getting in the way of them realizing their dreams,” said Clay Dunn, chief communications officer for Share Our Strength. “We as a country have plenty of food and resources to be able to feed every child and we even have programs put in place that are designed to do that, but too often those programs are failing the kids that they’re meant to serve.”
Part of the reason kids aren’t connecting with programs that have food available for them is quite simple—families aren’t aware of the program or they can’t access or get to the food distribution location. “We really look at it as access and awareness,” said Jill Davis, senior vice president of corporate partnerships for Share Our Strength. “We’re convinced that it’s a solvable problem.”
One way convenience stores can help solve the awareness and access problem is through Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry. When restaurants and retailers with foodservice sign up to participate in the initiative, Share Our Strength provides assistance to make the program successful for both the retailer’s bottom line and in helping to feed children. “We can create customized programming for that retailer …that solves your business objectives at the same time,” Davis said.
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The weekly podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 39,000 times in more than 95 countries.