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Merrell Footwear Supports Food for Kids 2016 in the High Country

 
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If you could do one thing that would improve a child’s self-esteem, help facilitate better behavior, and increase his or her learning potential, wouldn’t you do it? It’s easy. Just make sure that the child is not hungry. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children in the U.S. worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

hhc-1.jpgThis is the eighth year that Merrell and Mast General Store are partnering with our community food agencies in support of Food for Kids. They realize how important it is to give a child a good foundation to grow, to learn, and to just be a kid. From October 26th through November 8th, Merrell Footwear will make a donation to fill a backpack with weekend food for each pair of shoes purchased.

The Hunger and Health Coalition is our local food partner at the Original, Annex, and Boone Stores. Since 1982, the Hunger and Health Coalition has played a vital role in the community, helping relieve poverty and hunger in a compassionate manner for families and individuals who are experiencing economic hardship and food shortages. The Coalition’s help is imperative as Watauga, Ashe, and Avery counties have seen over a 35% increase in need for food assistance since 2012. One in every four children in Watauga Country rely on food assistance programs. This year, the Hunger and Health Coalition expanded the weekend Backpack Program to several new schools: Mabel and Bethel Elementary Schools, Two Rivers Community School, and Watauga High School.

hhc-2.jpgHow does Food for Kids work?
The agencies work with schools and teachers to discreetly determine which children need help. Each weekend during the school year, they are given weekend food that may also help feed sisters and brothers, and perhaps the rest of their families.  Teachers report better participation, self-esteem, and behavior as a result of the Food for Kids program.

"Merrell's involvement has helped to provide thousands of weekend meals,” said Lisa Cooper, president of Mast General Store. “We are proud to have vendor partners that take an interest in helping us address food access needs in our communities. Merrell believes in the importance of giving a child a good foundation to grow, learn, and just be a kid.”

hhc-3.jpgWhile hunger is a complicated social issue, it’s not hard or expensive to help. Literally, any donation amount can make a difference. In addition to Merrell’s contribution, the Mast Store will be accepting contributions in change jars to help the Food for Kids program even more. On average, $1 can provide 3 nutritious meals.

Follow this link to view Mast Store's collection of Merrell Footwear.