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Apr 01, 2020 • By

Nourishing kids without school meals

According to No Kid Hungry, more than 302 million school meals have been missed by children in need due to COVID-19-related school closures to-date. 

Because 1 in 7 children in the U.S. live with hunger, our Convenience and Foodservice K-12 team, and the General Mills Foundation, are stepping up their support and finding innovative ways to provide access for kids to the nutritious foods they need.  

Especially as many families are struggling more than ever. 

“This is a very difficult time for our K-12 customers and the students that they serve, and we will step up to help them in any way,” says Rick Fellers, K-12 channel marketing manager, General Mills. 

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Recently, the K-12 team committed to providing 1 million “grab n go” bags to their operators at no cost.  

These grab n go bags will help support the many school districts using new distribution models to hand out food to kids and adults.  

Emily Miramontes, account executive for K-12, works with one of the many districts that have created walk-up and drive-through stations to provide breakfast and lunch bags filled with staple lunchbox foods. She noted that our products have been a mainstay in this new meal format. 

“It feels good knowing our products provide comfort to families affected by closures, lay-offs and food insecurity,” says Miramontes.  

Other school districts, like the Loudoun County Public Schools in Ashburn, Virginia, have been using their school buses to deliver a week’s worth of food to its students. Students can go to their usual bus pickup spot to collect a food package.   

The K-12 team is also working to create signage for operators to advertise their feeding programs while schools are closed, in lieu of the handwritten signs that many operators have used in a rush to switch gears as schools close. It’s one of several initiatives and solutions that the C&F team has stood up to meet demand and support operators.  

“Roughly 22 million students rely on the free and reduced-price meals they receive at schools.  The entire K-12 team is doing everything that we can to provide the right solutions to our  customers to ensure they can continue to feed as many students as possible,” says Fellers. 

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Supporting No Kid Hungry 

The General Mills Foundation has been a key supporter of No Kid Hungry, focused on expanding the reach of school meal programs in the U.S. to nourish more students throughout the year – even amid school closures.  

“Last school year, our nationwide partnership with No Kid Hungry connected 79,000 children from lower income households to a daily school breakfast, providing vital nourishment for their school day,” says Nicola Dixon, executive director of the General Mills Foundation.  

All of these efforts will be critical to ensuring that kids around the U.S. who rely on free or reduced-price meals get access to the food they need. 

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