SANTA BARBARA, CA, Jan 25, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Nourish America, a national non-profit committed to improving the health status of impoverished children, seniors and adults by providing nourishing foods and vitamin supplements, has announced its new nationwide initiative, 'Strengthening Our Next Generation.' Nourish America's Executive Director Michael Morton said that a growing body of research confirms that the health of America's children is degenerating, endangering not only the lives of our children but our nation's future. This initiative will incorporate a series of programs with the goal of ensuring that America's future is strong, vital and positive.
Strengthening Our Next Generation's efforts will focus first on America's poor and hungry children and will include these programs:
Healthy Moms and Babies: To provide low income pregnant mothers-to-be the
prenatal multi-vitamin support they need to assure a healthy pregnancy and
healthy babies at birth.
Children First: To provide nourishing foods and supplements to help low
income children thrive both at school and in life.
Teen Support: To supply teens with nutrients to support healthy growth,
emotional balance and success.
Jump Start PE: Providing micro-grants to support quality, daily physical
education programs in our nation's schools.
"Many people are simply stunned when they learn that 12.4 million children in this country experience hunger and do not have their daily nutritional needs met," Ms. Morton stated.
According to the Department of Agriculture and studies by UNICEF, of the estimated 35 million Americans suffering from undernourishment today, 12.4 million are children. Public health officials and educators have stated conclusively that hungry children are more likely to be ill and absent from school and typically suffer from 200 to 400 percent more health problems, including weight loss, fatigue and poor performance in school, compared to families with adequate food and nutrition.
"The facts are stark; millions of children and adults in the United States live in homes without sufficient food to eat," commented Morton. "However, with the help of concerned private citizens and corporate donors, together we can address this problem directly to produce tangible results."
Founded in 1999, Nourish America was created to bring nutrition to children, families and seniors in need with vitamins and nourishing foods. "Our inspiration comes from the parents who tell us that because of Nourish America's programs, their children are sick less often, earn higher grades in school and are happier and more confident," Mary Morton, Nourish America's Director of Communications commented.
To improve the health and well being of our next generation, Nourish America serves daily multivitamins and nourishing foods to almost 30,000 low income children across 39 states. The children receive the vitamins and food from hundreds of organizations, schools and agencies who help serve those in need including public schools, church outreach programs, Head Start and Healthy Start programs, and WIC programs, Volunteers of America, Health Care for the Homeless Clinician's Network, community health centers, Feed the Children sites, homeless and battered women shelters, Native American programs, Salvation Army, YWCA and YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, City Park and Recreation Departments, hospital outreach programs, public health departments, medical and nursing school community outreach programs, and countless other community-based and faith-based organizations.
Children in Nourish America programs live in settings as varied as the American terrain: rural country small towns to harsh inner city streets. You'll find Nourish America programs in remote schools in Alaska, homeless shelters in Los Angeles and New York, in Indian Reservations in Wisconsin, Amish communities in Mississippi, in FEMA trailer villages on the Katrina ravaged Gulf Coast, and in public housing apartments in Washington, D.C.
This year almost 95% of parents and teachers of participating children reported that Nourish America's programs were beneficial to the children. Half of the parents said their children had more energy, were more active, were eating better and sleeping deeper while also being ill less often. Over a third of the teachers said the children were concentrating better, had more positive attitudes, had improved in their school work and had higher self esteem.
One father of three in Des Moines, Iowa wrote, "My son listens better in school. Thanks to Nourish America, he is a happy healthy little boy."
An e-mail from a middle school student taking part in a Nourish America after-school program in Garfield Family Terrace in Washington, D.C. puts it even more succinctly. "Before Nourish America, I never got an 'A,'" the sixth grader wrote. "Now I get all 'A's and I want to be a doctor."
About Nourish America
Nourish America(TM) is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization committed to improving the health status of children, families, and seniors at risk for malnutrition and those in need through vitamin supplementation, nourishing foods (including naturals and organics) and health education.
Nourish America has received the highest rating two years in a row from Charity Navigator, the nation's leading charity watchdog organization, ranking it in the top 14% of 5,000 of America's best-known charities for fiscal management. Independent audits show that 94% of all donations go directly to programs and those served.
To support Nourish America or for information, call 866-487-1484 or visit www.nourishamerica.org