ATLANTA, June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Boys & Girls Clubs of America(BGCA) and Kraft Foods Group Foundation are partnering to launch Kraft Great Futures Kitchen, a comprehensive program expanding access to nutritious food for kids and teens. Designed to help Club members and their families live and eat better, the Kraft Great Futures Kitchen program will renovate Club kitchen facilities, provide youth and family cooking classes, establish food bank partnerships, and install Club-based fruit and vegetable gardens.
Over the summer, kids are increasingly at risk for hunger without school lunch programs. Kraft will work with BGCA to upgrade kitchen facilities at 10 Club locations across the country to address this issue. Participating Clubs will receive capital improvements to their kitchen facilities to improve meal service programs and allow for adequate storage of fresh fruits and vegetables. Club gardens will be installed to teach young people how to start and maintain their own edible gardens while offering hands-on nutrition education and cooking opportunities.
As part of the Kraft Great Futures Kitchen program, participating Clubs will partner with local food banks to provide additional support for families. For example, some Clubs will implement ‘Backpack Projects’ to alleviate weekend hunger. Kids and teens can bring home backpacks providing nutritious, nonperishable foods that can be easily assembled into meals for the whole family.
“With so many kids in our country at risk of hunger over the summer and during the weekends, and millions more lacking regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables, it is essential that we offer options to make sure our kids are well fed and healthy,” said Dr. Damon A. Williams, Chief Educational & Youth Development Officer for BGCA. “Through this new partnership with Kraft, we’re able to provide nutritious food to those who need it most, while educating our kids and teens about nutrition and creating positive lifelong habits.”
Both BGCA and the Kraft Foods Group Foundation believe that addressing food insecurity and improving nutrition among youth is critical as children’s eating habits can impact readiness to learn and overall well-being. By improving access to nutritious meals and snacks after school, the Kraft Great Futures Kitchen program envisions a generation of youth who are empowered to make healthy decisions throughout their lives. The program will also directly contribute to BGCA’s goal to serve more than 500 million meals and snacks to young people in need by 2018.
“We believe everyone deserves good food and beverages, and this program will allow us to turn this belief into a reality for communities across the country,” said Leah Bradford, President, Kraft Foods Group Foundation. “It is a privilege to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to ensure youth and their families have access to the food, nutrition and the life skills they need to build great futures.”
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at BGCA’s Facebook and Twitter.
About the Kraft Foods Group Foundation
At the Kraft Foods Group Foundation, we believe everyone deserves good food and beverages. As food and nutrition are at the center of our expertise, we focus our efforts on seeding innovative and sustainable solutions to hunger and providing humanitarian aid when disaster strikes. We work with nonprofit partners across North America to help ensure healthy and vibrant communities.