Communities In Schools and No Kid Hungry are grounded in the knowledge that well-nourished kids are better able to learn, thrive and grow—and that schools play a huge role in hunger relief. As part of No Kid Hungry’s continuing effort to ensure all children in Virginia remain healthy and able to reach their full potential, Communities In Schools of Virginia (CIS-VA) has received $100,000 in grant funding to help feed more children throughout the statewide network.

“No child should have to struggle with an empty stomach or stress about when they will eat again. This grant will help reach more kids with the food they need to grow up healthy, educated and strong,” said Topaz Arthur, Manager for No Kid Hungry. “We’re proud to support the work CIS is doing across Virginia to help kids excel.” No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.

The Communities In Schools of Virginia network reaches 123 schools in 19 school districts across the Commonwealth. Funding will support hunger relief initiatives including school-based food pantries, emergency food vouchers for families and food distribution programs in Richmond, Petersburg, Chesterfield, Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and Southwest Virginia.   The CIS-VA network reaches more than 80,000 students each year and provides individualized case management to more than 4,000 students.

With more than 90% of students served by CIS receiving free or reduced-price lunch, addressing food security is often the first step in mitigating other barriers to a family or a child’s ability to fully engage in school.

“CIS’s relationship-based approach to student supports means our site coordinators throughout Virginia are often the first to learn of a student or family’s food security concerns – and we are often the first to connect food security as the root of behavior, attendance or academic challenges, says Mark Emblidge, founder and president of CIS-VA. “We are grateful to partner with No Kid Hungry to help students and families meet the most basic of needs and empower success in school.”