Hillshire Foundation announces grants to fight hunger

by Bryan Salvage
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CHICAGO – In the wake of acquisition proceedings by Tyson Foods, more than $700,000 in grants have been awarded by The Hillshire Brands Foundation to more than 30 organizations, including a multi-year commitment of $300,000 to Feeding America -- the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity.
Those receiving grants include Feeding America-affiliated food banks and nonprofits that operate programs to help improve children’s health by focusing on healthy weight and nutrition education. A complete list of the organizations receiving grants can be found on the foundation’s website.

“The foundation’s commitment to our hungry neighbors remains steadfast,” said Mary Oleksiuk, president of the Hillshire Brands Foundation. “Many of our grantees work to deliver meals, garner more food, and improve access to food for those in need.”

Within the US, edible food waste is increasing. The loss occurs at every stage of the food creation and distribution process. Much of the waste is due to the perishable nature of fresh produce, meats, breads, and dairy products. About 49 million people – which includes 16 million children – are struggling with hunger in this country, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Feeding America, and its network of food banks, help to provide food for 37 million people per year.

“With over 133 billion lbs. of food wasted in the US each year, recovering products that can provide much needed nutrients for our clients is essential,” said Leah Ray, senior vice president of development for Feeding America. “Partnerships with organizations like the Hillshire Brands Foundation make it possible to help feed the millions of Americans struggling with food insecurity today.”

Several grants were also made by the foundation to organizations that provide healthy weight and nutrition education to children and adults. Such programs provide combinations of fitness, health and nutrition activities to help enhance the understanding and interconnectedness of healthy lifestyles.

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