City receives $50,000 grant to support summer feeding programs

MONTGOMERY, AL – Montgomery Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has received a $50,000 grant to support its food service program in Montgomery.

The grant is part of Walmart's recently announced $2 billion commitment to help end hunger in America through its "Fighting Hunger Together" initiative, with $250 million pledged to support hunger relief organizations at the national, state and local levels through 2015.

"At Walmart, we're committed to fighting child hunger. We know millions of kids who receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year are at risk of going hungry in the summer months," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. "Through our partnership with NRPA, we'll be able to ensure that nearly 5 million kids in need will receive nutritious meals."

Each year for a period of two years, NRPA will award grants to 15 park and recreation agencies for feeding programs that will provide a combined 111,962 meals per day to qualified children in the summer months. The list of cities benefiting from this gift in 2010 include Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Bakersfield, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Columbus, Ohio; Greenville, S.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Montgomery, Ala.; Portland, Ore.; San Diego, Calif.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; and Wichita, Kan.

A report released in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that an estimated 49 million Americans struggle to get enough healthy food to eat, and it's estimated that one in four children are at risk of food insecurity in the U.S. During the summer months, the number of children that receive free or reduced-price federally-sponsored meals drops about 80 percent to that of the school year, from roughly 17 million to 2.9 million children.

"Park and recreation agencies are at the front line in the fight to build and maintain healthy communities," said Barbara Tulipane, CEO of NRPA. "The generous gift from the Walmart Foundation will help our local champions provide nutritious meals for millions of children and support the development of a healthy, connected and active generation of Americans."