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Calling all ‘Champions’ to end child hunger

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One in six children in North Carolina — and one in three in our rural areas — experiences hunger on a daily basis.

Providing no-cost school meals can help, says a press release from the School Meals for All NC Coalition (SMFA NC), which recently unveiled its Champions initiative to help advocates share their stories and advocate in their local communities and with state policymakers.

Now, North Carolinians across the state are invited to sign up to be a Champion to end child hunger.

The School Meals for All NC Coalition is led by the North Carolina Alliance for Health, The Center for Black Health & Equity, Carolina Hunger Initiative, and A Better Chance A Better Community (ABC2). The mission of the coalition “is to ensure every child in every public school in NC has access to breakfast and lunch at no cost.”

What is a Champion?

SMFA NC Champions are advocates of school meals in North Carolina who are willing to share their story. There are many levels of sharing your story as a Champion and the only expectation is issue advocacy, not lobbying. The hope is to amplify community voices, said the press release.

Courtesy of School Meals for All NC

Why are Champions needed?

“Far too many students in schools across North Carolina are hungry,” Kayla Holland, food and nutrition program manager at The Center for Black Health and Equity, said in the press release. “Our students need advocates who have perspective on the issue of child hunger to bring their lived experiences and drive positive policy change in our state.”

Rev. Kim Moss, a Champion. Courtesy of School Meals for All NC

For example, meet Rev. Kim Moss, one of the Champions. As a pastor and former educator, Moss advocates for the students of North Carolina, she said.

“No child should go hungry. It was at the Asheville, NC SMFANC Town Hall that my passion for children and advocating for eradicating school hunger was renewed,” Moss said. “Our well-being, mind, body, and soul, depend on our health. In order for children to be able to build their character capacity, to concentrate and to feel good about themselves, they cannot be hungry!”

Courtesy of School Meals for All NC

Who can become a SMFANC Champion?

Anyone who supports the mission of School Meals for All NC and is willing to speak out in order to educate and advance policy change can become a Champion. Students under 18 are welcome to become Champions with parental consent.

Who can attend the monthly strategy sessions?

SMFA NC holds monthly strategy sessions virtually. The sessions are open to anyone who supports the mission of the coalition, those who want to become Champions, and Champions also attend for support and training. Attendance for Champions is not mandatory, but attendance is encouraged.

When are the sessions?

The sessions are typically held the second Monday of the month from 6-7pm.

Click here to register for the sessions.

Click here to become a Champion!

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.