Tennessee Department of Human Services Hosts Walk in Support of Raising Awareness about Child Hunger

Monday, June 13, 2016 | 04:24pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) hosted a walk as a part of the No Tennessee Child Hungry awareness campaign on Friday, June 10, 2016. More than a hundred supporters in orange took part in the event titled “Tell Child Hunger to Take a Hike”. The event generated awareness about child hunger while identifying ways to prompt change and empower Tennesseans to become a part of the solution.

The walk began with a program emceed by WTVF NewsChannel 5 meteorologist Bree Smith. She shared facts about child hunger in Tennessee and her own commitment to similar causes. "One in 4 children does not know where their next meal is coming from,” Smith said. While hunger may seem like an impossible challenge to tackle - it's not. We can end this. Each of us has our own sphere of influence: our family, friends, co-workers, and our communities. Use your voice to raise awareness in your own sphere of influence and together we can make a difference to end hunger."

In March 2016 TDHS announced the launch of the No Tennessee Child Hungry awareness campaign calling attention to childhood hunger and urging Tennesseans to pledge support their for the more than a half million Tennessee children who may go hungry each day.

“Being aware of child hunger in our state is crucial in order to take action to address it. DHS is committed to doing our part to address poverty through the Two Generation strategy,” Commissioner Dr. Raquel Hatter said. “We are grateful to all of those from across the state and our federal partners for joining this effort by taking the No Tennessee Child Hungry pledge. A special thanks to our sister agencies for joining us including Commissioner Oglesby and Commissioner Hunter. This is what we do.”

United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services (USDA-FNS) Southeast Regional Administrator Robin Bailey added, “For more than 40 years, USDA has been committed to closing the food security gap that occurs in the summer months when children no longer have access to the nutritious meals they’re offered in school. We are pleased to partner with TDHS to close the hunger gap this summer. I am thrilled to see multiple State of Tennessee Commissioners, employees, and partners here supporting the kickoff with a goal of stomping out hunger across the state.”

Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner from the Tennessee Department of Health was also in attendance and stressed the importance of consistent good nutrition and physical activity for children.

“In an era where we are faced with the dual realities of both childhood obesity and child hunger and an emerging understanding of the role of food insecurity, we are delighted to join with TDHS, USDA, and many others as partners to fight and to better understand these vexing issues,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “We came together to walk and used physical activity to highlight our commitment and our hope.”

To join the call to action to fight hunger in your local community please visit http://www.tn.gov/humanservices/article/dhs-tn-food-programs-initiative to take the No Tennessee Child Hungry pledge.