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Hungry kids struggle to learn. The WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk can change that

Excelling in school is significantly more difficult when you are unable to focus. For one in five children in Southwest Florida, that is the reality. But you can change that by donating and joining the 12th annual WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk.

The WINK Hunger Walk is less than two weeks away. But you do not have to wait until Jan. 18. Right now, you can support the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s mission to lead our community in the fight to end hunger – especially for children – by helping us reach our fundraising goal of $300,000.

There are over 45,000 food-insecure children in Southwest Florida. Dr. Howard Taras, who is a professor of pediatrics at the University of California San Diego, wrote in the Journal of School Health, “food insufficiency was associated with significantly poorer cognitive functioning, decreased school attendance, or diminished academic achievement.”

Harry Chapin has two programs to battle against childhood hunger. Its In-School Pantry Program provides nutritious food for children within the schools they attend. A second program from the non-profit, Harry’s Helpings, gives families food kits that come in boxes, containing nourishing, non-perishable foods.

Harry’s Helpings provide 15 to 20 pounds of food and can be enough to prepare an average of 15 meals, serving entire families, according to Harry Chapin. They include canned vegetables and canned meat, cereal, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, soups and stews, peanut butter, jelly, pasta, rice and beans.

Supporting these endeavors is imperative for young minds that will lead future generations. Each $1 you give to the non-profit goes towards $8 in food. So far, we have raised $165,253. But we are still halfway to our goal.

Registration for the WINK Hunger Walk on the day of the event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Miramar Outlets. The walk starts at 9:30 a.m. For more information on the walk or to donate go to WINKHungerWalk.com.

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
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