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If we asked you to picture a child in poverty, what would you picture? Do you picture a barefoot Indian child walking the streets of a city’s slums? Or perhaps you picture an African child whose stomach is bloated from being malnourished. What if we asked you to picture an American child living in poverty right in your own neighborhood?

According to the USDA, 14.7% of American households were food insecure at some point during the year 2009. The USDA also states that the United States remains at the highest recorded rate of food insecurity since 1995 when the first national food security survey was conducted. That means almost 15 out of every 100 American’s do not know when, where, or how they will receive their next meal. The USDA also reported that 10.6% of homes with children (approximately 4.2 million households) were food insecure sometime during the year 2009.1 It’s difficult to imagine that children are going to bed hungry in homes near you, isn’t it?

At MannaRelief, we get to meet some amazingly passionate people, and when we met Jana Sooter, we knew good things were about to happen. Jana introduced us to an organization called Backpack Mission. Backpack Mission helps children in Kentucky near  the Appalachian Mountain region. Jana choked back tears as she shared stories and testimonies of the children from the area. She explained that most of the children had a hard time concentrating in school because they were so hungry. Some of the children even had patches of hair missing from undernourishment. When Jana asked if Backpack Mission was an organization MannaRelief would consider partnering with, we answered whole-heartedly ‘Yes!’. We are thrilled to partner with Backpack Mission as they reach out to these children.

We are truly honored by the opportunities we have with so many international partnerships, but we feel extremely privileged to partner with organizations right here at home.

Watching the video below, you’ll see just how severe the need for proper nutrition is in the area where Backpack Mission is working. This summer MannaRelief sent 2,400 servings of nutritional support to the kids at Backpack Mission, but with your help we can do so much more. Please consider giving as little as $0.08 a day to provide proper and ongoing nutritional support for these kids. Donate here and specify Backpack Mission in the comments >

1http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err108/ 07/25/2011