2020 has been a year like no other. The pandemic has had a profound impact on every aspect of our lives, including child hunger. This year, as many as 1 in 4 kids could go hungry, a number that has greatly increased since the onset of the coronavirus.
It’s easy to see numbers like this and feel discouraged. But 2020 was also a time of unprecedented innovation. From school nutrition professionals feeding kids in new ways at the drop of a hat to community organizations supporting kids with food and care while schools were remote, maintaining a sense of hope in the chaos was a skill each of our community members refined and perfected. Learn more about their stories here.
2020 also taught us to lean on one another, and constantly evaluate what can be done to ensure students have the nutritious meals they need to succeed and thrive. This year, Rise & Shine Illinois:
- Centered our outreach in equity and shifted our support to be more holistic in nature
- Distributed over $1.1 million in grants to support emergency relief and recovery efforts
- Expanded and deepened our reach across the state, and forged new relationships with districts and communities in Central and Southern Illinois
The work ahead may seem daunting, but together we’ll find ways to continue serving our community while dealing with ever-changing obstacles. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that with the help of our partners, community leaders, and advocates across the state, we are ready to double down on the fight against hunger. Here’s to a 2021 where no child goes hungry.