Have you eaten today? Better yet, have your kids? Chances are if you’re reading this (and you have kids), you answered “yes”. Unfortunately, nearly 20% of the U.S. population answers “no” to both daily.
In April, a seed was planted inside Five Star Food Service for a need so large and so widespread it immediately started to grow. Even the coolest of characters would have this seed grow on their hearts. In a matter of weeks, the seed, ending childhood hunger, blossomed into a passion now deeply rooted in the fabric of the organization. Driven by this cause, Five Star announces the launch of its non-profit charity organization, Feeding the Future, Inc.
The Hunger Epidemic
The statistics on hunger in the world’s most affluent nation are staggering, especially among children. According to recent studies, between 15-20% of children, which equates to roughly 13 million, in the United States face food insecurity daily. Additionally, approximately 22 million elementary and middle school-aged students rely on free or government subsidized lunch programs. What’s most alarming is often those same children come to school hungry with nothing to eat until lunch, and they haven’t eaten since lunch the previous day.
Children who don’t get enough to eat, especially during the first three years, begin life at a serious disadvantage. The lack of food, specifically “healthy” food, raises the likelihood of chronic illnesses and entering school with developmental impairments and behavioral issues. Children are our future and providing a positive launch point for them is critical to their success in life -- which in turn will strengthen our communities and our country.
Feeding the Future’s mission and vision centers on generating awareness of and funds to be used for suppression of local childhood hunger within the Canteen franchise territory of its partner corporation Five Star Food Service. To accomplish this, Feeding the Future is building long-term partnerships with the food banks and shelters that serve children in those areas through programs such as ‘Backpack Buddies’ and other food programs.
The BackPack Buddies and similar programs provide children who receive free or reduced lunch at school with a way to get through the weekend without going hungry. Each bag is packed by local food banks or partner organizations and contains six (6) easy-to-make nutritious meals to last each child from Friday afternoon through Monday morning. Nationally, only 2% (450,000) of the children that are eligible for this program are currently covered. On average, each bag of food costs $3 for the local food bank.
In September, Feeding the Future officially launched its fundraising efforts by hosting a golf tournament at Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club in Chattanooga. The goal was to start small and local. The charity started local by dedicating the inaugural proceeds solely to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, but they certainly did not start small. With over 25 teams participating and nearly 70 sponsors supporting the inaugural event, it surpassed all initial expectations! The charity’s volunteer board members recently presented the food bank with a check for $30,000 with an additional $10,000 pledged to be donated! With 4 meals coming from each dollar, that’s 160,000 meals!
Left to Right) C. J. Recher, Greg McCall, Kym Jones, Gina Crumbliss, Danelle Layton, Alan Recher [not pictured: Peggy Russell]
Thank You to our Major Sponsors: 50-5 Focus, 365 Retail Markets, USA Technologies, Great American Deli, Cigna, Chase, and SunTrust
In addition to the golf tournament, Feeding the Future expects to raise funds via Five Star profit sharing, additional events, micro market and vending promotions, point-of-sale donations, employee payroll, and online donations. For the foreseeable future, the charity will focus solely on raising funds for childhood hunger initiatives, but the potential exists for future expansion to serve children in other areas of life.
Get Involved & Follow on Social
Feeding the Future has launched an official website at www.feedingthefuture.org as well as on social media. Follow them on: Facebook: @feedingthefutureinc, Twitter: @EndKidsHunger, Instagram: @feedingthefutureinc, and LinkedIn: Feeding The Future, Inc.
To donate to Feeding the Future, visit the website and click the “Donate” button or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Feeding The Future
Feeding the Future, Inc. (EIN: 32-0530898) “FTF” is a non-profit charitable organization incorporated in the state of Tennessee focused on engaging the community and raising funds to support the fight against childhood hunger. FTF is authorized to solicit charitable donations in the states of Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky.
About Five Star Food Service
Five Star Food Service, based in Chattanooga, TN, is the Southeast’s premier on-site food and beverage solution provider to employers and other commercial, institutional, and educational locations. Five Star is a leader in micro-markets, full-service vending, coffee services, full-service dining, and catering across Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Founded in 1993, Five Star Food Service has grown to one of the largest privately held operators in the United States and is a franchise of Canteen Vending. For more information visit www.fivestar-food.com.