No Kid Should Feel Hungry: University of Oklahoma Foundation

Helping to deliver access to health and well-being is a pillar of Astellas USA Foundation's efforts and it is thrilled to be partnering with organizations such as World Food Program USA, Northern Illinois Food Bank and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to help chronically hungry children get their nutrition needs met so they can flourish in life.

Scientists call the first 1,000 days in the life of a child the "golden window." Ensuring they have nutritious food during this time—from a mother’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday — is vital for physical and mental development.

With the help of Astellas USA Foundation and the World Food Programme (WFP), nearly one thousand mothers and young children in rural El Salvador are receiving the nutrition they need to survive and thrive. Through this innovative partnership, approximately 800 pregnant and lactating women and their children under the age of two are receiving a monthly voucher redeemable at local markets for SuperCereal+, a highly fortified blend of corn, soy and dairy that contains crucial vitamins and minerals necessary for proper growth and development. The voucher is given upon completion of health checkups and educational training in proper food and nutrition practices. By supporting the health of mothers and children during the first 1,000 days of life, WFP and Astellas USA Foundation are making a commitment to help build a strong foundation for El Salvador's future.

No Kid Should Feel Hungry: Northern Illinois Food Bank

In Oklahoma, Astellas USA Foundation is supporting the efforts of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma by donating funds to feed 50 chronically hungry children, helping these children redirect hunger needs towards achieving academic goals. Through the Foundation's grant, the children will receive food through four programs—a weekly Backpack Program, a School Pantry Program, at safe afterschool Kids Cafés and at Summer Feeding sites. By directly providing nutritious food to children struggling with hunger, these children can better reach their full potential.

Children in households facing food insecurity are at increased risk for hunger on the weekends, and often return to school unprepared to concentrate on academics. Astellas USA Foundation provided funding to help support Northern Illinois Food Bank's program to provide food-filled backpacks to 2,000 children across 168 schools. Nearly 59,000 backpacks will be distributed this school year. Many of the parents say the backpack program helps reduce the amount of stress felt in the home, allowing the children to function better socially and emotionally. "We currently have a backpack going home with a family who has been impacted by domestic violence. The mother relies on the backpack to help her feed her children over the weekend. She left the abusive situation and is grateful for the help she is able to receive through a variety of resources, including the Backpack Program."

No child should be chronically hungry. By providing grants for nutritious food to help children struggling with hunger, these children can better reach their full potential, enabling them to help break the cycle of poverty while building stronger and more sustainable communities.