New Initiative Aims to End Child Hunger in Maine

The state of Maine has unveiled an ambitious campaign designed to combat child hunger. The campaign is called Full Plates, Full Potential, to highlight the fact that children cannot reach their full potential if they are wondering when their next meal will be. The program was created with the sole intention of providing food to the children who need it. They plan to accomplish this in part by providing aid to local school districts. In return, school districts will be asked to encourage families in need to register to receive free or reduced-price lunches. The Full Plates, Full Potential initiative makes use of government grants that are available to provide assistance to food-insecure families. Hunger affects an estimated 87,000 children in the state of Maine alone. While there is federal funding available, families can only make use of this government grant money if they register for assistance.

It may seem simple enough to identify the children in need of assistance, but the process is more complicated than one would assume at first glance. Of the state’s 87,000 food-insecure children, approximately 24,000 did not register to receive assistance this year. Which means Translation Companies UK that despite the existence of available funding, many hungry children are still not receiving the free or reduced-price lunches they need. The Full Plates, Full Potential initiative is determined to remove the obstacles that prevent available resources from reaching the children they are intended to help.

It is believed that pride may play a significant role in the failure to register for assistance. Sometimes, families do not fill out the necessary applications due to a misplaced sense of shame. Another of the initiative’s goals is to get rid of the stigma surrounding assistance programs. There is no shame in asking for help, but the idea that there is may be preventing some families from coming forward and asking for the help that they need.

According to the campaign’s coordinators, over 60 school districts responded to their request. Of those, six school districts have been chosen and will receive $500 to implement their plans to reach out to families and encourage them to fill out the necessary applications. The selected districts include South Paris, Woodland, Winthrop, Greenville, Thorndike and Augusta.

Full Plates, Full Potential was founded in 2014. There were a large number of people involved in getting the idea off the ground. The creation and success of the movement is owed to various nonprofit groups, food directors, government officials, restaurant owners and businesses. No matter the background of the people behind the campaign, they all became involved for the same reason. They supported the movement because they could not stand the thought of children going hungry, especially when they didn’t have to. The group states that in the state of Maine, roughly one in four children suffers from hunger.

Sam’s Club Awards Grants and Education to Small Business Owners

Oftentimes, small business owners are the very small fish in a large, overpopulated pond. One reason they struggle to get their business off and running is due to limited availability or capital. Access to funds is even more inadequate for U.S. minorities and women business owners. Sam’s Club is one big fish generously helping small business owners and communities by giving them a chance to thrive.

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., created their Sam’s Club Giving Program with the intent of awarding grants to small business owners, focusing primarily on women, minorities and veterans. This year alone $8.8 million in government grant money was distributed to help owners with the start-up funds to get their business up and running and keep it growing.

Last year, in 2015, Sam’s Club began a five-year support plan for small business owners. The Small Business Economic Mobility initiative will not only supply owners with the capital they require but will educate them on effective borrowing methods. The initial round of government grants totaled an impressive $13.6 million that was distributed to eight nonprofit facilities. These organizations served the most underserved in the community, such as veteran, women and minority small business owners.

Sam’s Club, a national membership warehouse club, realized it was in the position to help small business owners gain access to badly needed capital. With 652 stores nationwide they certainly know what it takes to run a business and want to pass along that knowledge. Through their philanthropic investments and grant programs, they are able to provide support to propel small business owners forward. Along with the Business Lending Center, Sam’s Club can offer capital to get the business started but also educate owners to keep it going strong.

Sam’s Club continues to believe in the idea that originated from founder Sam Walton which is small business is a much needed asset for America. They create more jobs and lend in economic growth, two things our country is lacking at this moment. Capital and the education to know how to manage money are aspects that Sam’s Club and Sam’s Club Giving heavily promote. Small business owners need to understand how to manage the capital they have and continue to save money while still growing bigger.

In just a short time the Small Business Economic Mobility program has witnessed some positive results. They awarded the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) $3.6 million in grant money, catering to minorities, women and under 40 small business owners. OFN developed Venturize, a program that educates small business owners about predatory lending practices and how to find more cost-saving alternatives.

Sam’s Club is one corporation that understands for America to move forward, small business owners need the chance to succeed to increase economic growth. Sam’s Club and Sam’s Club Giving programs are a step in the right direction.

 

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