Kickoff 4 Kids Tackle Hunger program
More than one million children go to bed hungry in the U.S. every night, according to a recent government report. President Barack Obama, who pledged to eradicate childhood hunger, has described as “unsettling” the agriculture department survey, which says that 50 million people in the US – one in six of the population – were unable to afford to buy sufficient food to stay healthy at some point last year, in large part because of escalating unemployment or poorly paid jobs. That is a rise of more than one third over the year before, and the highest number since the survey began in 1995. The agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said: “These numbers are a wake-up call … for us to get very serious about food security and hunger, about nutrition and food safety in this country.” This is why the Tackle Hunger program exists. The program goes beyond providing food, by building self-confidence, providing nutritional education, and raising awareness of the importance of proper nourishment. “Our goal is to offer underprivileged individuals an opportunity to attain the skills and tools necessary to increase their ability to provide for themselves. Education is key. We must not give a man a fish, but teach him how to fish and encourage him that with hard work he can one day buy the pond” says Executive Director, Henry Dibrell. “Together we can make a Difference.” Since Tackle Hunger was established in 2008 over 6,000 families have been helped thanks to the generosity of donors. Food bins are distributed in three cities: Houston, Texas, Huntsville, Alabama, and Louisville, Kentucky. Donated food items are given to local food pantries that address hunger in these communities. Through ‘Tackle Hunger Tuesdays’ businesses are empowered to get actively involved in fighting hunger in their cities. During a Tackle Hunger Tuesday event, local restaurants also agree to give 10% – 15% of the sales for that day to help alleviate the problem of hunger in their communities.. In 2010, the decision was made to extend the Tackle Hunger program from the Thanksgiving holiday to year round. Each year, the Amobi Okoye Foundation celebrates by hosting a dinner that also serves as an evening of fun, games, education and fellowship for families it has touched throughout the year.