Food for Kids

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Oct. 11, 2012 | Modified: Oct. 11, 2012

Mast General Store, Merrell Footwear and the Health and Hunger Coalition are partnering to help provide children in the High Country with weekend food.

It’s the Food for Kids initiative, and for each pair of Merrell shoes purchased at Mast Store Oct. 14 through Oct. 31, Merrell will fill a pack with food to feed a child for a weekend.

“The Health and Hunger Coalition plays a vital role in our community, helping relieve poverty and hunger in a compassionate manner for families and individuals who are experiencing economic hardship and food shortages,” said a spokeswoman for Mast Store.“The coalition’s help is imperative, as Watauga, Ashe, and Avery counties have seen a 43 percent increase in need for food assistance since 2010.”

During an average month, nearly 6,900 people receive food from the Hunger and Health Coalition’s Food Pantry. One in three people served is a child under the age of 18, the spokesperson said.

Three of the coalition’s six programs are geared specifically to help alleviate childhood hunger in the area: Snacks for Scholars provides healthy snacks to children of families that need food assistance.

Healthy Start provides healthy snack bags to preschool-age children attending Head Start. The Backpack Program also provides backpacks of food every Friday to high school children so they won’t have to go hungry over the weekend.

This is the third year Mast General Store has partnered with Merrell to support Food for Kids. The combined efforts of this partnership provided more than 2,422 backpacks of weekend food in 2011.

To find out more about helping fight hunger in the High Country, visit http://www.hungerandhealthcoalition.com.

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