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Vikings hungry for a win


The Minnesota Vikings and Target are helping feed more hungry kids in Minnesota this summer courtesy of a $300,000 donation that expands an innovative program involving the Minnesota Department of Education and Second Harvest. The program is called the Vikings Children’s Fund Summer Lunch Program, Presented by Target, and it addresses the reduced level of involvement in free and reduced price school lunch programs that occurs during summer months.

Nearly 300,000 kids receive free or reduced price lunches during the school year, but that figure drops to around 60,000 during the summer, according to the Minnesota Department of Education. One of the issues is a lack of locations participating in the summer program. However, more than 40 additional sites have been added, increasing to 450 the number of locations where free meals are available. The program will drive more hungry children to those sites through an aggressive and innovative visibility campaign created by Second Harvest Heartland that involves 21 billboards, interactive tools, including an online meal site location finder and a text-to-eat option that allows individuals to send a text message to 612.516.FOOD to obtain information on their nearest meal site. Plans also call for a neighborhood canvassing effort, through which volunteers will go door-to-door distributing literature on the Summer Food Service Program and nearby meal sites and a partnership with area libraries to provide patrons with information on nearby meal sites.

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