This summer, Direct Energy and CPL Retail Energy (CPL, a member of Direct Energy’s family of brands) proudly delivered smiles to hundreds of children through its 2nd annual Summer Bag program. This program provides food and aid to those in need of assistance throughout Texas in an effort to combat hunger. In total, CPL donated approximately $25,000 to five food banks, which packaged over 10,000 bags that yielded 17,500 meals for children in Texas.
“CPL’s contribution and partnership helps us continue to reach out to some of the neediest children in our community,” said Libby Salinas, chief program officer with the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. “This year, another 250 were helped in the Mission area thanks to CPL’s contributions.”
According to Feeding America, more than one in five children is food insecure, meaning that approximately 27 percent of kids in Texas have limited access to food.
The Texas Hunger Initiative states that kids aren’t hungry due to a lack of food or because of a lack of food and nutrition programs. Children are hungry because the federal food and nutrition programs that serve the children and families living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet are frequently underutilized, even when they’re more than eligible. And the Texas Hunger Initiative’s No Kid Hungry campaign believes the most effective way to reduce childhood hunger in the state is to improve the number of eligible families participating in these already-established programs and to encourage community members to get involved to address the issue.
For example, Share Our Strength’s Center for Best Practices reports that in Texas, only 58.3 percent of children who receive a free or reduced-price lunch currently participate in the School Breakfast Program and only 9.4 percent participate in free Summer Meals Programs.
For these reasons, CPL and its partners happily served meals to children on Fridays throughout the summer so that there would be food to eat during the weekend. “While many programs provide food assistance during the summer weekdays, some cannot fill the need for the weekends or aren’t utilized and that’s the gap we are trying to fill. We deliver directly to the youth.”
“We are committed to serving our communities and helping the most vulnerable,” said Al King, CPL commercial director. “Through collaboration with our food bank partners, we’re making a positive difference by providing thousands of bags with nutritious food to youth who otherwise would possibly go hungry.”
Since the inception of the Summer Bag program in 2012, CPL and Direct Energy have provided over 1 million meals to youth in need across Texas. To learn more about other ways CPL is involved in its community, visit our About Community page.
This post was written by Julie Hendry, Public Relations Specialist for Direct Energy in Pittsburgh, PA.