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St. Christopher’s Raises More than 130,000 Servings of Cereal for Children in Philadelphia

(Philadelphia, PA)- June 18, 2014 – St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, located in Philadelphia, recently joined in a competition with other pediatric hospitals to participate in a nationwide Cereal Drive.  Benefiting Philabundance, a Philadelphia-based food bank, St. Christopher’s set out to collect servings of cereal to help knockout hunger for the children in the area during summer break from school.

The cereal drive at St. Christopher’s began on June 2 and took place throughout the week, ending on June 6. Employees at the hospital, as well as outside donators, collected unopened, unexpired boxes of cereal, cereal bars and monetary donations. The final amount of servings collected totaled 130,013. All of the cereal was delivered directly to Philabundance for distribution at the food bank.

According to Philabundance, there are more than 300,000 children in the Delaware Valley who are eligible for free and reduced meals in school.  More than 231,000 of those children live in Pennsylvania and nearly 72,000 children live in New Jersey all within Philabundance’s nine county service area in the Delaware Valley.

FRAC’s report Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation found that summer meals reached only 18.7 students for every 100 low-income children who received school meals in the 2012-2013 school year. This is a decline from the summer of 2012, when summer meals were reaching 20.3 out of every 100 children in low-income households who rely on school meals.

“It’s often said that the three happiest words a mother can hear is “I love you, but in far too many homes this summer, the three most gut-wrenching words a mother will hear is “what’s for dinner or lunch,” says Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance. “St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is a wonderful partner who is dedicated to fighting child hunger and working with the community to provide solutions and access to healthy food options.”

According to Clark, cereal is one of the most popular items at the food bank and most varieties of cereal are nutrient-fortified, helping to provide area children with healthy meals while they are not in school for the summer.

And while the St. Christopher’s community may have had one common goal in mind, they couldn’t help but brew up a little internal competition.

Splitting into three teams, St. Christopher’s employees participated in a variety of events throughout the week of June 2 to help raise cereal. Events included a cereal eating contest, a horse race, a “storage wars” style auction, and concluded with a “kiss the pig” event. Details and photos from each event can be found on the hospital’s blog at http://stchrishospital.blogspot.com/.

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