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National Restaurant Association - NRA, state legislators provide food to hungry children

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NRA, state legislators provide food to hungry children

Legislators from Georgia won a $5,000 grant to benefit a hunger-relief program in the state after besting all other local lawmakers in a National Restaurant Association-sponsored backpacking contest at the National Conference of State Legislatures summit earlier this month.

During the Atlanta event, hosted by the NCSL Hunger Partnership, legislators packed 1,000 backpacks full of food. The backpacks were donated to food-insecure children throughout Atlanta.

Georgia lawmakers packed the most backpacks among all of the competitors. The food was then donated to the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church’s “Snack in a Backpack” program. The Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Georgia Association of Food Banks and the Boys and Girls Club of America also helped with the event.

The $5,000 grant for the winning team was underwritten by event co-sponsor Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands Inc., parent of such chains as KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Legislators representing Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and New Hampshire also won grant money for hunger-relief programs in their states as well.

The legislators said they recognized the importance of providing food for the hungry.

“Food insecurity is something that, unfortunately, every legislator is aware of in these difficult times, and it’s certainly a pleasure to participate in this event,” said Rhode Island Representative Joe McNamara (D).

“This is the kind of thing that legislators should be doing more of,” said Indiana Senator Thomas Wyss (R).

“The food looked pretty healthy, too, and I think that’s really important,” New Hampshire House of Representatives member Cindy Rosenwald (D-NH).

“It’s just the right thing to do,” added Georgia Rep. Chuck Williams (R) .

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 16.7 million children in the United States live in households that are ‘food-insecure.’ Restaurateurs are especially sensitive to doing what they can to battle the problem of hunger in America.

“In the past year alone, the restaurant industry donated nearly $3 billion in resources to make their communities and the nation stronger,” said Amanda Rieter, the NRA’s director of policy and industry affairs.

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