Plainfield Earns Grant For Summer Children’s Nutrition Program

PLAINFIELD –The City of Plainfield’s Division of Parks & Recreation, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has been selected to benefit from a $1.5 million grant received by NRPA from the Walmart Foundation to support summer feeding programs in 28 park and recreation agencies across the U.S. The City of Plainfield’s Division of Parks & Recreation has received a $30,000 grant to support its food service program aimed at all 32 summer camp programs throughout Plainfield.

“We are thrilled to be a part of NRPA’s national effort to combat hunger, particularly in these troubled economic times, and are pleased that Walmart has lent their support to the City of Plainfield. Through Walmart’s generosity, we will serve over 51,000 meals to over 700 children in our area. These children will have a better, more nutritious summer,” said Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.

Support for the feeding program is part of Walmart’s Summer Giving Campaign – a $20 million initiative aimed at filling the gaps created when schools close for the summer. The initiative will help expand nutrition, learning and employment services to children throughout the summer months.

“Helping children and families in our local community is a key objective of Plainfield’s Division of Parks & Recreation,” said Eric Jackson, director of Public Works and Urban Development.

While many children look forward to the summer break, recent research shows that health may decline in children during the summer due to lower levels of physical activity and lack of access to healthy meals.

Only one in seven of the low-income students who depended on the National School Lunch Program during the regular 2010-2011 school year received summer meals in July 2011 according to a report released by the Food Research and Action Center in June 2012.

“Park and recreation agencies are on the frontline in the fight to reduce hunger especially among children,” says Barbara Tulipane, president and 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.”

For the third year, NRPA has awarded grants to park and recreation agencies for feeding programs that have served more than 16 million meals to low-income children, an increase of 3.7 million meals over 2009 figures.

“In this challenging economy, many families are struggling to make ends meet and put nutritious food on the table. Studies show that more than 15 million children do not receive balanced or healthy meals during the summer when school is out of session. Thanks to the $30,000 gift from Walmart Foundation, we are able to provide nutritious meals to children in our community,” said Robinson-Briggs.

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