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Almost 16 million children under 18 in the United States live in households without consistent access to nutritious food. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Share Our Strength is working to ensure all American children have access to the healthy foods that are essential for their physical, mental, social, and academic development.

The national nonprofit raises and grants funds to support long-term solutions to childhood hunger in the U.S. Since 1984, Share Our Strength has raised more than $528 million through corporate sponsorships, events, and donations. During that same time, funds have been granted to more than 1,100 organizations nationwide that are effectively helping feed kids.

In 2010, Share Our Strength launched its No Kid Hungry campaign to bring together private citizens, government officials, business leaders, and other stakeholders to implement solutions that break down the barriers that keep kids from healthy food. No Kid Hungry connects kids in need with nutritious food where they live, learn, and play, and teaches low-income families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

In 2014, the SIF awarded Share Our Strength $1.5 million for the first year of a five-year grant to bring the No Kid Hungry model to communities across the country that are poised to create impact in the fight to end childhood hunger. In 2015, Share Our Strength awarded $1.85 million to make significant investments in scaling its campaign in six states.

The coordinated investment between No Kid Hungry and the Social Innovation Fund supports the following subgrantees to serve as the leaders of six new No Kid Hungry Communities, with the goal of reaching nearly 2 million children from low-income families:

  • Florida Impact, Tallahassee, FL
  • Hunger Task Force, Milwaukee, WI
  • Three Square Food Bank, Las Vegas, NV
  • United Way of King County, Seattle, WA
  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Detroit, MI
  • Texas Hunger Initiative, Waco, TX

These organizations are working with school districts and other partners in high-need communities to expand or enhance school and summer meal programs for children. The Texas Hunger Initiative (THI), housed within Baylor University, for example, is deepening the impact of No Kid Hungry throughout Texas by working through the Texas school system and regional offices across the state. It seeks to end child hunger by initiating collaboration, sharing innovative ideas through research, and informing public policy.

Share Our Strength leaders praise the role the SIF has played in scaling the No Kid Hungry strategy to create transformational social change.

“Our No Kid Hungry SIF request for proposal (RFP) process demonstrated that there was a need and desire for organizations to partner with Share Our Strength,” said Adrienne Allen, Director of the No Kid Hungry Social Innovation Fund. “Innovation and partnership are at the core of the No Kid Hungry strategy. By working with the most effective local partners in states and communities around the country, we are able to put our resources behind their efforts and bring solutions that work to more children.”

The cooperation and collaboration fostered by the SIF grant has afforded a “sense of a special opportunity and commitment and accountability to each other,” added Eliza Yoder, Share Our Strength’s Senior Manager of Fundraising Strategy and Operations. She said that the sense of collaborative mission started from the onset of the RFP process for selecting No Kid Hungry SIF subgrantees.

Yoder specifically highlighted the benefit of strong memoranda of understanding (MOUs) as the process unfolded, which specified expectations for collaboration and accountability. “Approaching it as a sharing relationship and with an open book to tell the story together” made this a unique opportunity for all the partners, she said.

While Share Our Strength’s subgrantees are just beginning their work, they have already gained momentum and are counting on meeting their three-year milestones. Share Our Strength will provide technical assistance via the No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices and Playbook, foster fundraising collaboration, conduct quarterly progress reviews, and encourage open communication through individual and cohort calls and webinars.

Additional information about Share Our Strength’s SIF project can be found online