Blessings in a Backpack awarded a $25,000 COVID-19 grant from Cape Coral Community Foundation
By: CONRIC PR & Marketing
CCCF CEO Michael Chatman presented Blessings in a Backpack SWFL Executive Director Cecilia St. Arnold with a $25,000 check on Dec. 2 to help feed schoolchildren throughout the community. The Cape Coral Community Foundation grant will help provide weekend meals for approximately 190 children for a full school year.
During the school week, these children are fed by federal government programs, but no meals are provided on the weekends. A leader in the movement to end childhood hunger, Blessings in a Backpack makes sure children receive nutritional meals over the weekend. Through the efficiency of Blessings in a Backpack, just $115 feeds one child on weekends for the entire 38-week school year. The CCCF grant, in addition to other sources of financial and in-kind support, helps make this possible.
"This grant is for our children who aren't always sure where their next meal will come from, it's to help reduce the worry and strain of the parents and family, and it's for the betterment of our community," explained Cecilia St. Arnold, Executive Director of Blessings in a Backpack SWFL. "Having a group like the Cape Coral Community Foundation recognize the need that exists and the value we provide is heartwarming and encouraging."
As COVID-19 forced school closures, reduced employment and increased poverty, school-age kids were missing more meals and going hungry. Projections show that 18 million American children – one in four – may be struggling with limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life. The consequences of hunger can result in a weaker immune system, increased hospitalization, lower IQ, shorter attention spans, and lower academic achievement.
"Taking care of our youth should be a priority for every single person in our community. We're proud that partners like Blessings in a Backpack SWFL exist and are honored to help them meet their priority of providing nourishing meals to our school-age children," said Cape Coral Community Foundation CEO Michael Chatman. "Above all, we want to be a vehicle for people of all means to make a lasting impact in our community."