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The Arby's Foundation, in partnership with Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, is spending the summer on a Hungry For Happiness mobile tour. The goal of the tour, which is traveling more than 8,000 miles to 15 cities across the U.S. through August, is to raise awareness about childhood hunger and increase participation in free summer meal programs in communities nationwide.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), while more than 21 million school children in America get free or reduced-price school lunches during the school year, just over 3 million of those kids get a free summer meal when school is out.
"Summer is a vulnerable time for kids who rely on school nutrition programs during the school year, and we are working with Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign to connect kids to over one million more meals during this time period," said Hala Moddelmog, president of Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. "We believe that every child should have access to the food they need to learn, play and grow. Summer should be a time for happiness for kids, not a time to worry about where their next meal will come from."
Free summer meals are available to kids and teens ages 18 and under at thousands of summer meals sites around the country and programs do not require applications or proof of income. Sites are registered with the USDA and are held at safe, local places such as schools, churches and community centers. All meals served follow USDA nutrition guidelines.
To help encourage families to participate in these free offerings near them, the Arby's Foundation has funded a summer meals texting program with No Kid Hungry, which connects people with local hunger resources through their phones. Families can find a free summer meals site near them by texting FOOD to 877-877, calling 1-866-3HUNGRY or visiting www.strength.org/summermeals.
While in each city, the Hungry For Happiness mobile tour will stop at summer meal sites to deliver a full summertime's worth of activities and games for kids, complimentary Arby's Kids Meals (which follow USDA nutrition guidelines) and education on available summer meals programs and resources in each community. In addition, the tour will visit public events in each city to help raise awareness in the local communities on these issues.
Sponsors supporting The Hungry For Happiness Tour include Pepsi, Shamrock Farms, Dr Pepper, Kraft Foods and Comcast.
In addition to the tour, the Arby's Foundation is raising funds to further support No Kid Hungry through a donation match campaign, where Arby's will match every dollar donated up to $100,000.
Arby's contributed more than $2.2 million to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign in 2011.
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