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State Farm grants $25K to Lunches to Love

The State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant to Lunches of Love will provide food to needy children away from school. CONTRIBUTED
The State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant to Lunches of Love will provide food to needy children away from school. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON COUNTY – Valentine’s Day in 2017 was extra special for a community organization that shares its love by feeding underprivileged children on weekends and during holiday breaks.

The Madison County-based organization Lunches of Love received a $25,000 grant from State Farm Neighborhood Assist. “Lunches of Love is one of only 40 causes around the nation to be awarded the State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant among more than 200 causes that competed in 2016,” State Farm spokesperson Roszell Gadson said.

Organizations around the nation competed through online voting to receive a grant that would be used to improve their communities. Lunches to Love representatives received the gift at a presentation on Feb. 14 at Legacy Elementary School, 165 Pine Grove Road.

Lunches of Love assists students in schools across Madison County. Before State Farm grants, Lunches of Love received funding primarily from individual donations. The foundation wants to break the cycle of poverty that impacts academic performance, health and economic productivity for children, Gadson said.

An organization from each state in the country has among the 2,000 submissions that State Farm Neighborhood Assist received. “Then, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, a diverse group of 30 students who are passionate about social responsibility, reviewed the cause submissions and selected the 200 finalists for voting,” Gadson said.

During the program’s five-year run, 200 causes have received a total of $5 million to enact change in their communities.

A large population of children in Madison County does not have access to adequate food. “Studies show that nutritional status directly affects the mental capacity among school-aged children, placing them at high risk for academic failure,” Gadson said.

While these children receive free or reduced meals at school, at home for weekends or breaks they go hungry, Gadson said. State Farm Neighborhood Assist provides these children with nutrition that they can independently prepare and consume at home and brings awareness of childhood hunger to the community.

State Farm’s mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams, Gadson said. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States.

For more information, visit statefarm.com.

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