Atlanta Public Schools has received a $100,000 donation from GENYOUth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating healthier school communities, by the Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation as part of GenYOUth’s COVID-19 Emergency School Meal Delivery Fund.
Funded in partnership with the Dairy Alliance, the donation will provide micro-grants to nourish students during the unprecedented 2020-2021 school year.
In accordance with the new 2020-2021 Centers for Disease Control recommended guidelines, Kroger’s donation will support the purchase of insulated cooler bags to ensure the safe transport, delivery, and distribution of meals to students throughout Atlanta Public Schools.
While school cafeterias will be closed, APS will continue to provide vital school meals to students via school bus delivery and curbside pickup.
A total of 54 Atlanta Public Schools are part of Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which provides all students with free breakfast and lunch. And an additional 21 schools will participate in the Federal Eligibility Application (FEA) program, which offers free and reduced priced meals to qualifying students. APS will continue participation in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program, which is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s school nutrition program.
“In an effort to take care of our families, Atlanta Public Schools is extremely grateful and appreciative of the support of GENYOUth, Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and The Dairy Alliance,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring. “This generous donation will allow a shift from traditional cafeteria meal service to student meal distribution through school bus delivery and curbside pickup. These partnerships help to align with our families’ expectations of available fresh, wholesome foods in the community that are comparable to school meals.”
“The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation supports efforts to create communities free of hunger and waste, improve food security, and bring balanced meals to families in need,” said Felix Turner, corporate affairs manager, Kroger Atlanta Division. “It is crucial that our children have access to fresh food, which would not happen without the Atlanta Public Schools meal delivery program.”
“We are excited to be a part of the team that is helping to ensure that fresh meals can be safely stored and delivered to students,” Turner added. “This donation is a testament of Kroger’s commitment to our vision of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste and our commitment to the communities we serve. To date, Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation has directed more than $9.3 million to urgent COVID-19 response initiatives including GENYOUth’s COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund.”
Nearly one in four U.S. children now live in food insecurity, and over 30 million students rely on school meal programs for a substantial portion of their daily nutrition. GENYOUth established the Emergency School Meal Delivery Fund in March of this year to help schools across the nation obtain the resources and equipment necessary to ensure continuity of school meal programs during the pandemic. To date, GENYOUth’s fund has provided over $9 million in cash and in-kind grants to 8,000 schools.
“The continuity of school meals for our nation’s kids is more important than ever to combat hunger during the pandemic,” said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. “Schools can’t do this alone, and partnerships are crucial to filling the gap. The support provided by Kroger for Atlanta Public Schools means that students will not have to worry about where their next school meal will come from. We thank them for their generosity and commitment.”