Target Teams Up With Minnesota Vikings to Tackle Kids’ Summer Hunger

Target Corp. and the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings have pledged $300,000 to help secure up to 500,000 additional meals for hungry Minnesota children this summer.

The 2010 Vikings Children’s Fund Summer Lunch Program, through an awareness campaign created by Second Harvest Heartland and lauded as a national model by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will raise visibility of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program.

“Target has long been involved in the fight to end hunger both locally and nationally,” said Laysha Ward, Target’s president of community relations. “We are pleased to join with the Minnesota Vikings, Second Harvest Heartland and all of Minnesota’s Feeding America food banks in an effort to positively impact child hunger in Minnesota.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, 293,000 Minnesota schoolchildren receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but fewer than 60,000 children receive them during the summer.

The program has already secured more than 40 additional meal sites, bringing the total number of summer meal sites in Minnesota to over 450. The program will drive more hungry children to those sites through a campaign that includes 21 billboards, an online meal site location finder, a neighborhood canvassing effort, and a partnership with area libraries.

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Minneapolis-based Target Corp. operates more than 1,675 stores nationwide and Since 1946, the corporation has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs, equaling more than $3 million a week.
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