Winston-Salem one of six cities to receive grant to fight hunger

City Photo- Kids participate in a feeding program at MLK Community Center.

Winston-Salem one of six cities to receive grant to fight hunger
August 23
04:00 2018

The City of Winston-Salem is one of only six cities in the country to receive a $115,500 CHAMPS grant from the National League of Cities to combat hunger.

The funds will be focused on feeding children and expanding participation in federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits as part of a new “Think Orange” campaign against hunger. The color orange is associated with Hunger Action Month, which is September. That campaign was announced on Friday, Aug. 17,  at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

“Today we are announcing a major city-wide initiative campaign to discuss the issues of food scarcity and food insecurity in our community,” said Mayor Allen Joines. “This campaign will bring together so many different organizations, including government, the religious community and nonprofits in our area to address these two very important issues.”

Joines credited City Council Member Denise “DD” Adams, who is on the League of Cities’ Board of Directors, for pushing the city to apply for the grant. This new initiative is aligned with the recommendations of the Mayor’s Poverty Thought Force, which Joines said has found funding to hire staff through various grants and will soon start searching for a director to help implement those recommendations.

The CHAMPS grant will be used to enhance current efforts to fight hunger. For instance, there were more than 65,000 breakfasts, lunches or snacks served by Ezekiel A.M.E.  Zion Church through summer feeding programs at 28 sites in June and July. But that’s only a fraction of the need, with only 16 percent of eligible children in Forsyth County participating in those programs. Grant money will be used for a direct mail and targeted digital advertising campaign to encourage families to take advantage of summer feeding programs.

It’ll also be used to explore a pilot program with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC that would deliver hot meals to lower-income youth, seniors and individuals with disabilities.  This program serves about 1,000 people.

To help increase participation in SNAP, which was formerly known as food stamps, the city will partner with the Winston-Salem Urban League for four quarterly enrollment fairs starting this fall. The local nonprofit has participated for the last three years in the SNAP Out Senior Hunger program, through which the Urban League signed up 1,350 seniors for SNAP benefits in the last 18 months.

Part of the grant will finance matching funds for SNAP users at the Fairgrounds Famers Market to increase their buying power.

The Fairgrounds market will also partner with Cobblestone Farmers Market for a new mid-week famers market held in an area with a high concentration of SNAP-eligible households.

The grant will also be used to purchase $100 in fresh produce from the Fairground Farmers Market that will be distributed in food deserts by the nonprofit H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Eat) using its signature green trucks.

Other parts of the initiative include:

*A food resources website listing things like food pantries, feeding programs and other hunger resources.

*A mayor’s lunch and learn roundtable with the city’s corporate leaders to enlist their support in the campaign.

*A childhood hunger summit with leaders from programs that deal with that issue.

*Hunger awareness initiatives that include a Think Orange Day in Winston-Salem.

About Author

Todd Luck

Todd Luck

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors