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Opinion

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Via Press Release
06/20/2014 11:55 AM

Jennie Teel-Wolter

Guest Commentary

With one in six Americans facing hunger, food insecurity is one of the most challenging issues facing our nation today. Not to mention that families in need are also substantially less likely to get enough of the healthy fruits and vegetables required for a balanced diet — but you can help. This month, Raley’s is launching a Summer Donation Drive. Raley’s will provide a matching donation of fresh produce for every dollar donated, up to $25,000, now through July 31.

We know that families facing hunger are also far less likely to eat a nutritionally complete diet. It’s been a dream of Food For Families to offer our food bank partners both fresh produce and dry goods. With the addition of fresh produce to the line-up of offerings, we are confident we are taking positive steps to better fight hunger and its associated health impacts.

Food For Families began in 1986, as a holiday food drive, founded by Raley’s Co-chairman and Owner Joyce Raley Teel and CEO Emeritus Charles Collings. Through the Food for Families partnership with local food banks, the program raises monetary and food donations to serve those in need with Raley’s absorbing all administrative costs of the program. That means 100 percent of every donation goes directly to feeding the hungry. With the help and support of employees, customers and business partners, Food For Families has raised more than $31 million and donated more than 21 million pounds of dry groceries to food banks.

While obtaining food is a challenge for tens of millions of Americans, accessing nutritious food has proven to be even more difficult. Low income levels have historically been linked to higher rates of obesity. One study revealed obesity rates increased by 10 percent for all U.S. children 10 to 17 years old between 2003 and 2007, but by 23 percent during the same time period for low-income children. With the recently launched pilot program, Food For Families hopes to address hunger and obesity simultaneously by making fresh produce available for those who may not always have access to it.

During the school year, many families rely upon free or reduced-cost school lunch programs to provide their children with well-rounded meals. Over the summer break, these children can become vulnerable to food insecurity. Our Food For Families Fresh donation drive will help bolster the supply of healthy food at our local food banks to meet the increased need.

Making a donation is easy, and can be done from the comfort of your own home, from your cell phone or during your next trip to your local Raley’s. Visit Raley’s to make a donation at checkout; or text ENDHUNGER to 85944; make a pledge on the Food For Families Facebook page- facebook.com/raleysfoodforfamilies, or visit FoodForFamilies.com to donate online.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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