Food companies forking over more free lunches to needy kids in the summer

By Emily Bryson
York, Tribune reporterAugust 4,
Five days a week, PepsiCo
trucks loaded with food pass through apartment complexes on the South Side of Chicago
to deliver breakfast and lunch, trying to make a dent in a perennial problem:
children going hungry when they’re not getting free meals in
school.Schools, government agencies and nonprofits have wrestled with
the problem of summer hunger for years. More than 20 million children qualify
for free or reduced-price lunches served during the school year. But over the
summer of 2010, less than 3 million took advantage of similar assistance,
according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture

Now, companies like PepsiCo’s
Quaker Oats, ConAgra
and Subway Restaurants are working with a variety of government
agencies and nonprofit groups to help rectify the situation. For packaged-food
and restaurant companies, it’s an opportunity to build brand loyalty — among
both the kids getting the meals and the middle-class mothers whose kids don’t
qualify but notice the effort.  READ MORE:


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