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Hungry for Happiness Tour at Riverside Park, June 15

Arby's Hungry for Happiness Truck.

Arby’s Hungry for Happiness Truck. Photo provided by KLS Communications and used with written permission.

By Kathy Siefert
On behalf of The Arby’s Foundation
http://arbysfoundation.org/

The Arby’s Foundation, in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign, is traveling across the U.S. this summer on a Hungry For Happiness mobile tour to raise awareness about childhood hunger and increase participation in free summer meal programs in communities nationwide. The tour will arrive in Indianapolis on Friday, June 15, 2012.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), while more than 21 million school children in America get free or reduced-price school lunches during the school year, just over 3 million of those kids get a free summer meal when school is out. For example, in Indianapolis, only 11.9 percent of children who rely on school lunch programs currently participate in free summer meal programs.

The Arby’s Hungry For Happiness tour aims to increase that number so more kids have access to healthy food during the summer months.

“Summer is a vulnerable time for kids who rely on school nutrition programs during the school year,” said Hala Moddelmog, president of Arby’s Restaurant Group. “We believe that every child should have access to the food they need to learn, play and grow. Summer should be a time for happiness for kids, not a time to worry about where their next meal will come from.”

“Today, many American families are struggling to make ends meet, and the summer months can be stressful when already-tight food budgets have to stretch even further,” said Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. “The good news is that there are programs available to make sure kids get the healthy food they need, and we‟re proud to partner with The Arby’s Foundation to help get this message out.”

The Hungry For Happiness tour will be visiting the Summer Servings summer meals program kick-off at Riverside Park, 2420 East Riverside Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Friday, June 15, 2012.

The tour will provide Arby’s Kids Meals to children participating in the summer meals program, distribute information on local resources to the public, and provide an afternoon of summer fun such as hula-hoop contests, tug of war, bean bag toss, hopscotch and other family-friendly activities.

“No one wants to think child hunger can happen in their own community, but we see the struggle families go through right here in Indianapolis every day,” said Dave Miner, president of Indy Hunger Network. “We have the means to help these kids, so we’re grateful the Arby’s Foundation and Share Our Strength are spreading the word so more families use our resources this summer.”

Free summer meals are available to kids and teens ages 18 and under, and programs do not require applications or proof of income. Sites are registered with the USDA and are held at safe, local places such as schools, churches and community centers. All meals served follow USDA nutrition guidelines.

Families in Indianapolis can find a free summer meals site near them by visiting http://www.strength.org/summermeals, calling 1-866-3HUNGRY or texting FOOD to 877-877.

The Hungry For Happiness Tour will travel to 15 cities across the country through August. While in each city, the tour will stop at summer meal sites to deliver a full summertime‟s worth of activities and games for kids, complimentary Arby‟s Kids Meals and education on available summer meals programs and resources in each community. In addition, the tour will visit public events in each city to help raise awareness in the local communities on these issues.

Sponsors supporting The Hungry For Happiness Tour include Pepsi, Shamrock Farms, Dr Pepper, Kraft Foods and Comcast.

Editor’s Acknowledgment: KLS Communications.

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