Feeding AmericaThe Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation today announced a $175,000 grant to Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. The funds will be used to support the BackPack Program, which provides food to hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.  The backpacks filled with nutritious, child-friendly food will be distributed in 14 markets throughout the country, including Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Long Island, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Providence, San Diego and Tampa.

According to the USDA, 18.5 million low-income children received free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program in 2008. Unfortunately, just 2.1 million of these same income-eligible children participate in the Summer Food Service Program.

“Proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of children, which is why Feeding America is so concerned about the nine million children who rely on us for nourishing meals each year,” said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America. “A child who is unequipped to learn because of hunger and poverty is at risk of developmental impairment and is more likely to be poor as an adult. With support from the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, BackPack Programs will provide extra food for students and families who need it most, ensuring that children have the resources they need to become healthy, productive citizens.”

“The Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is dedicated to supporting the local communities where we live and work,” said Karen Raskopf, Senior Vice President of Communications for Dunkin’ Brands and Co-Chair of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation. “We hope to help Feeding America make a difference in the lives of the children they serve each year.”

Since 2006, The Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation has provided more than $2 million in grants to support local communities throughout the country.

The Feeding America network of food banks provides food to more than four million Americans each week through more than 63,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and other agencies.  In fiscal year 2009, 150 Feeding America food banks distributed nearly three million backpacks to children in need. 

About the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation

The Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation brings together a wide network of stakeholders, including Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchisees, crew members and employees, to support those who serve in our communities. The focus of the Foundation is emergency response organizations and child-related causes. The goal of the Foundation is to help ensure that those heroes we depend on during a disaster have what they need to rise to any occasion, and to make a positive impact on the lives of children in the communities that we serve. To learn more about the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, please visit www.dunkinbrands.com/foundation

About Feeding America

Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.