Child Nutrition: Food for Thought and Growth
Allies for Children leads the WIC nutrition subgroup for a statewide prenatal-to-three grant from Pritzker Family Foundation. The May 2021 WIC policy brief outlined top recommendations for modernizing the program and boosting WIC participation. Allies for Children has been a catalyst between statewide and local support for improving this vital program. See the county fact sheets highlighting WIC enrollment data and policy recommendations.
During COVID-19, Allies for Children utilized our partnerships and policy experience in both transportation and school nutrition to help get meals to children and families who were unable to travel to meal sites.
In June 2020, we started working with United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank, CMU’s Metro21: The Smart Cities Institute, Penn Hills School District, ACCESS, Eat’n Park, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, and community organizations to provide meals to families along routes in Penn Hills. The successful pilot was replicated in McKeesport and McKees Rocks. During the summer of 2020 and throughout the 2020-2021 school year, the routes delivered more than 100,000 meals.
From 2016 to 2020, Allies for Children partnered with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and school districts throughout Allegheny County to collaborate on annual school breakfast reports. The reports highlight how school policy changes can help combat childhood hunger and increase the number of breakfasts schools serve. Allegheny County outperformed the state in reaching Governor Wolf’s 2020 School Breakfast Goal.
Summer meal programs are designed to provide critical nutrition when school is not in session.