The Issue: Food Insecurity
Nearly half of Orange County's students—about 222,000 children—receive free or reduced-price school lunches, according to a 2012 report from the Orange County Community Foundation. These children come from households that make $40,000 or less per year for a family of four. For many of these children, school lunches are the most nutritious meal of the day—if not their only meal—due to scant resources at home. During the summer months, their parents are faced with the burden of providing their children with the meals they typically would have received at school.
The Campaign: Providing Families with Healthy Meals
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Families Forward to help provide nutritious food items from its food pantry to local families in need. For every $70 raised, Families Forward can provide 10 healthy meals to one low-income family of four. These meals might include produce, bread, cereal, pasta, canned tuna or meat, peanut butter, soup, and canned vegetables and fruit.
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In 1984, a group of Orange County community members founded Families Forward after realizing they shared the same vision. Their goal: to help support local families in financial crisis with housing, food assistance, and other services that could help them achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Along with 28 transitional homes to help families dealing with the loss of their homes or eviction from their apartments, Families Forward runs a food pantry that supports more than 7,000 people each year, career workshops, counseling services, and seasonal programs for children. The transitional housing program has helped more than four out of five families served successfully transition from crisis to stability. Once a family's financial status and living situation stabilize, they can return to being independent, productive community residents, which helps kids from such households experience a safe, happy, and secure childhood—accomplishing Families Forward's number-one priority of protecting children.