United Way for Southeastern Michigan has announced a new $225,000 grant program to expand children’s access to free meals when schools go on break this summer. United Way seeks to partner with organizations in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County to operate and administer the federally reimbursed meal program, as well as health-based programming, in fun and creative ways. Meet Up and Eat Up is part of United Way’s Healthy Kids initiative. Meet Up and Eat Up Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $10,000, with opportunities for additional funding based upon program proposals. New and existing program operators are encouraged to apply.
Last summer, working in partnership with more than 720 Meet Up and Eat Up sites across Southeastern Michigan, United Way sought to surpass its 2015 goal of 1.7 million meals served. Barriers like transportation challenges, and excessive red tape typically associated with reimbursable meal programs, blocked many kids from getting the meals they needed. The nonprofit came just shy of its goal by 400,000. With the new Meet Up and Eat Up Grant, United Way hopes to counter these barriers by partnering with additional program operators over the summer, when the risk of childhood hunger is greater.
“United Way led the effort to implement Meet Up and Eat Up across Southeast Michigan, and served as a consultant to the State to Michigan to improve nutritional standards for the meals served at sites,” says Herman Gray, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “The Meet Up and Eat Up model is now duplicated across the state and throughout the country, yet too many children still go hungry, and the need for additional community partners still exists.”
In Southeast Michigan where nearly 200,000 kids are food insecure, together with the Michigan Department of Health, USDA Food and Nutrition Services, and Share Our Strength’s national No Kid Hungry campaign, United Way for Southeastern Michigan is working to help close the gap on childhood hunger.
For more information or to apply for United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Meet Up and Eat Up Grant, visit www.liveunitedsem.org/grants
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About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through volunteerism, advocacy, and its annual campaign. UWSEM is a leader in convening partners to achieve positive outcomes around our three impact areas: Childhood Nutrition, Early Childhood Development and College and Career Pathways. For more information visit www.LiveUnitedSEM.org.