Regional food bank in running for $40K childhood hunger grant - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Regional food bank in running for $40K childhood hunger grant

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The Huntington Area Food Bank is urging the community to get involved in its fight to end childhood hunger. HAFB is one of 300 in the running to win a $40,000 grant with the purpose of funding childhood hunger programs.

The funding is part of Wal-Mart's Fighting Hunger Together initiative. Forty food banks affiliated with Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger relief agency, will be awarded grant funds.

Winners will be chosen based on a Facebook voting campaign.

HAFB supporters can go to the Facebook page to vote for the organization. Each person can vote once per day until April 30.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our BackPack program," said Tiffany Tatum, executive director of HAFB. "This is one of the most important programs we offer."

The HAFB will use the grant funds to purchase and distribute nutritious foods through BackPack programs in Lawrence County in Kentucky and Lawrence County in Ohio. The HAFB will work to establish new programs to alleviate childhood hunger in these counties.

HAFB currently supports 14 BackPack Programs in three counties within its service region. Nearly 1,000 children are fed each week through HAFB's BackPack Program.

Every Friday, children are provided with a bag of food consisting of four meals and two snacks. This food ensures children will have something to eat through the weekend, Tatum said.

"One in four children in our service region does not know where their next meal will come from," said Debra Johnson-Tourigny, president of HAFB's Board of Directors. "Children are often the hardest hit by hunger. We try to fill that meal gap with our BackPack Programs."

The Huntington Area Food Bank is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves nearly 200 agencies in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

HAFB receives products from Feeding America, USDA, local donors, regional grocers, restaurants, farmers, food manufacturers and food processors.