America’s Second Harvest Receives Funds From Hasbro Children’s Foundation for Backpack Program

America's Second Harvest
Tuesday, 4 May 2004

America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest hunger-relief charity, announced today it is accepting grant applications to pilot up to eight new rural backpack pilot program funded by Hasbro Children's Foundation. The Backpack program, currently offered at two-dozen affiliated food banks and food rescue program, enables America's Second Harvest to provide children with nutritious and easy to prepare food on the weekend when school lunches are not available. The Hasbro Children's Foundation has approved a grant to America's Second Harvest in the amount of $95,000 providing funds for direct grants and program oversight.

The Backpack program, currently operated in 24 rural, suburban and urban communities across the country, received national attention recently. In the most common model, America's Second Harvest affiliates provide local schools or its' Kids Cafes ® with backpacks and the food needed to fill those backpacks for the weekend or school vacations when children would have no access to government subsidized school-based meals.

"The Hasbro Children's Foundation has allowed us to expand a program that is clearly needed in rural communities," said Robert Forney, President and CEO of America's Second Harvest. "Hunger and poverty are a real and growing problem in rural communities and through the Backpack program we provide immediate relief to financially stressed parents and their children."

The Hasbro Rural Initiative will allow eight regional hunger-relief organizations to implement or expand capacity for backpack programs in rural communities to provide children with nutritious and easy to prepare food on the weekend when school lunches are not available. In a recent survey of affiliates of the America's Second Harvest network, more than 60 organizations expressed interest in starting a weekend food distribution program for low-income children.

"We are pleased to support America's Second Harvest in raising awareness about the six million families who are food insecure in this country and in ensuring that no child goes to bed hungry," said Jane S. Englebardt, Executive Director of the Hasbro Children's Foundation. "We hope our grant will inspire others to support the Backpack program."

Through this pilot program, America's Second Harvest will be able to identify the successes and challenges of the program, as well as national resources that can assist affiliates in operating the program.

The Hasbro Children's Foundation, founded in 1984, is a philanthropy of Hasbro, Inc. The Hasbro Children's Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for disadvantaged children, their families and their communities across the country. To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation focuses grant support on the development and expansion of model programs addressing the needs of young children in health, education, and social services. Through its grantmaking, the Hasbro Children's Foundation endeavors to ensure that today's children and the children of the future have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

For more information, or to contact America's Second Harvest, see their website at: www.secondharvest.org

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