Tusk Philanthropies doubles down on expanding food access for K-12 students
NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Solving Hunger, a project led by Tusk Philanthropies, today announced its 2024 grant recipients to run coordinated campaigns to pass legislation that expands school nutrition programs – particularly Universal School Meals. Solving Hunger works with these organizations to provide them with additional advocacy, lobbying and communications tools that anti-hunger organizations don’t typically have at their disposal, but are essential to executing political-style campaigns to pass legislation.
In 8 years, Solving Hunger has had an 80% success rate, winning 24 of 30 campaigns in 19 states. With $6 million in support over the years, Tusk Philanthropies campaigns have unlocked $2 billion in new government funding for anti-hunger programs, providing food regularly to 13 million more people.
In 2024, Solving Hunger will provide resources and funding to the following organizations:
- Illinois Public Health Institute – Campaign to fund universal school meals, which was passed but not funded in Illinois’s last legislative session.
- Children’s Defense Fund-OH and Council for a Strong America, Mission: Readiness – Campaign to fund universal school meals in Ohio.
- School Nutrition Association of Pennsylvania – Campaign to add universal school lunch to Pennsylvania’s new universal breakfast program.
- Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance – Campaign to increase school nutrition funding in Arkansas.
- Wholespire (South Carolina) – Campaign to increase school nutrition funding in South Carolina.
“In a short three years, eight states (California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Vermont) have passed universal school meals, making nutrition a part of the public school experience, as it should be,” said Bradley Tusk, the CEO and founder of Tusk Philanthropies. “Nearly 11 million of the 50 million public school children in the United States can now get breakfast and lunch at school, no matter their family’s income. In those states, kids are healthier and happier, attendance is up, and there is no more shaming of children whose families cannot afford meals.”
Recent news reports regarding children and poverty have been grim. Poverty has doubled in the past year; infant mortality has risen for the first time in 20 years, and while pediatricians are seeing stagnation or reduction in body weights of young children, 77% of youth cannot qualify for military service, with being overweight a factor for 44% of youth who are disqualified.
“We have a child nutrition crisis in the United States. We now know the difference school meals, directly into the mouths of kids, can make to children, their families, and their communities, and we need to keep that going and expand it nationwide. Using our political campaign-like approach, we support our local partners who work diligently day-to-day to provide food security to those in the most need,” continued Tusk.
About Solving Hunger
Solving Hunger is led by Tusk Philanthropies, the family foundation of political strategist Bradley Tusk, and is focused on making sure that people who are hungry have enough food to eat. Ensuring people have access to food is an immediate problem that the organization addresses every year by funding, developing, and managing legislative campaigns to expand and strengthen access to nutrition programs like Universal School Meals, Breakfast After the Bell, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
In 2023, Solving Hunger was joined by a number of generous individuals to expand its capacity to run campaigns. Together, we can get more kids fed in school, faster.
Solving Hunger has helped secure state and federal funding to support school meals programs in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.
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SOURCE Tusk Philanthropies