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Conagra Brands Foundation Awards Grants To 17 Local Nonprofits Through "Nourish Our Community" Program

Employee-driven program creates local impact during Hunger Action Month

CHICAGO, Sept. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In support of Hunger Action Month and to underscore its commitment to fighting food insecurity, Conagra Brands Foundation has announced the recipients of its annual "Nourish Our Community" grant program, awarding one-year grants to 17 nonprofits across the United States. The grants, totaling $350,000, will help create positive social impact in the communities where its employees live and work.

Conagra employees play a leading role in the "Nourish Our Community" program and raise awareness for the pervasiveness of hunger in America. For more than 25 years, employees have nominated nonprofit organizations in their local communities to be considered for grants in areas addressing domestic hunger and food insecurity, cooking skills, nutrition education, healthy and active lifestyles or urban agriculture. A cross-functional committee of employees then helps select which local organizations will receive the grants.

"For decades, the Nourish Our Community grant program has empowered our employees and provided them with the resources they need to help fight hunger in their own communities," said Robert Rizzo, Senior Director, Conagra Brands Foundation. "Building strong community partnerships through our program is critical to addressing food insecurity, which impacts millions of Americans every day."

More information about each of the "Nourish Our Community" grant recipients can be found below:

ALPHA COMMUNITY CENTER (OH) Project: Alpha MealsFunding from the Conagra Brands Foundation helps Alpha Community Center prepare essential meals and serve them to families and children in the community as take-out meals. This community meal service not only provides nutritious meals, but also some relief from the stress and worry associated with managing limited financial resources. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Tina B. - Troy, OH

BIG MUDDY URBAN FARM (NE) Project:Aspiring Farmer ResidencyThe Aspiring Farmer Residency is an immersive program providing residents with the experience of a full growing season acting as the farmer, building a business, planting seeds, bringing food to markets, and interacting with the community. Located in the Gifford Park Neighborhood, the program supports residents with housing, curriculum, networking, resources, and facilities, which include a workshop, three chicken coops, and six growing areas. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Margaret D. - Omaha, NE

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF DANE COUNTY (WI) Project:Darien Food SecurityBoys and Girls Club of Dane County inspires and empowers young people to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring adults. The Conagra Brands Foundation funding assists the Boys and Girls Club that serves the Conagra community of Darien, WI in continuing its Family Meals to Go program, as well as their holiday meal distribution. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Sergio R.  - Darien , WI

CARE FOR FRIENDS (IL) Project:Nourish Our FriendsThe Conagra Brands Foundation grant supports Care For Friends' hot meal program. Care For Friends provides home cooked meals, supplemental food, clothing, and healthcare for individuals experiencing homelessness. The hot meal program provides access to healthy and nutritious meals in an environment where all are welcomed. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Bradley H. - Chicago, IL

CENTER ON HALSTED (IL) Project:Silver Fork Culinary Arts Workforce Development Silver Fork is a nine-week vocational training program for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies, especially those who are under- or unemployed, aimed at reducing poverty within the LGBTQ+ community and increasing diversity and inclusion in the workforce. The curriculum introduces students to many facets of the food industry with topics including knife skills, sanitation, front-of-house, introductory understanding of food allergens and dietary preferences, and more. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Melinda R. - Chicago, IL

CHICAGO LIGHTS URBAN FARM (IL) Project:Community EngagementSupport from the Conagra Brands Foundation helps Chicago Lights decrease domestic hunger and food insecurity by expanding upon its 18-year relationship with public housing residents and deepening engagement with community partners to foster greater access to fresh, sustainably grown produce. Neighboring residents with lower incomes have experienced varying levels of food insecurity because of pandemic related economic conditions and increasing food prices. During the grant period, Chicago Lights will distribute 3,000 pounds of fresh produce to 320 individuals and families with low incomes. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Gabriela G., Andrea N., Merideth S. - Chicago, IL

CHILDREN IN NEED (MD) Project:Client Monthly VisitsChildren in Need supplies children with packages of essential items that address the child's basic needs and help ensure children have positive social and emotional experiences while attending school. This Nourish Our Community grant will enable the organization to include shelf stable, child-friendly food items in packages that are provided to the students. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Denise K. - Hagerstown, MD

CITY SPROUTS (NE) Project:Community FarmCity Sprouts is expanding its food production efforts to a new, six-acre urban farm site in South Omaha that will produce more than 50,000 pounds of fresh, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods annually for communities facing food insecurity. The Conagra Brands Foundation supports its efforts to cultivate, harvest, and distribute produce to local community members through Free Farms Stands and in collaboration with food distribution agencies in the Omaha area. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: LaLeesha H. - Omaha, NE

CONSCIOUS ALLIANCE (CO) Project: Feed Kids Before LandfillsConagra's grant helps Conscious Alliance deliver on its mission to rescue and redistribute more than 400,000 healthy meals and snacks to children facing hunger in the Denver-metro area. It currently serves young people in Boulder and Weld Counties in Colorado, and Oglala Lakota County in South Dakota, and plan to expand further in the Denver/ Boulder region. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Patrick A. - Boulder, CO

FIGUEROA WU FAMILY FOUNDATION (IL) Project:Pilsen Food PantryFigueroa Wu Family Foundation provides community wellness, targets hunger, fights racial and economic inequities, and provides an inviting space for cultural engagement. Its biggest program, the Pilsen Food Pantry, supports local families with free emergency food, clothing, books, and physical therapy. This grant supports the home delivery program, which was launched to help those unable to travel for food. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Sebastian B. - Chicago, IL

GIRLS INC OF WASHINGTON COUNTY (MD) Project:Kids CafeGirls, Inc. seeks to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. It is committed to serving young women in the community with effective programs that provide access to healthy and nutritious meals and snacks. This grant supports its Kids Café which provides breakfast and lunch during the summer, and snacks and dinner during the school year. The girls themselves are very involved in planning the dinner menu, budgeting, and incorporating produce harvested from its very own garden into the meals. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Denise K. - Hagerstown, MD

MARIE WILKINSON FOOD PANTRY (IL) Project:Hunger Relief Nutrition and HealthThis Nourish Our Community grant supports the front-line hunger relief efforts provided through its two community food pantries serving Kane, Kendall, DuPage, Will, and DeKalb Counties. A portion of the grant will help expand capacity with the purchase of a new walk-in cooler and freezer, increasing the quantity of protein, frozen produce, and dairy it can distribute and eliminating the expense of renting refrigerator and freezer space. Remaining funds will be used to purchase fresh produce and protein to distribute to neighbors in need.  Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Brenda J. - Chicago, IL

NEW VISIONS HOMELESS SERVICES  (IA)Project:Meal ProgramNew Visions Homeless Services provides transitional and permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless veterans residing in its two housing programs. Its food program provides residents with three balanced meals each day free of charge, in addition to case management and other supportive services. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Frankie K. - Omaha, NE

NOURISH MEALS ON WHEELS (CO) Project: Meals on WheelsNourish Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers 3,000 hot meals each weekday to homebound seniors while also nurturing their social and emotional needs through meaningful personal interaction and wellness checks. This grant supports the production and delivery of approximately 8,000 meals per month for seniors who do not have the means to contribute to the costs of these meals. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Susan P. - Denver, CO

SAVING GRACE PERISHABLE FOOD RESCUE (NE) Project:Equitable and Sustainable Food SystemsSaving Grace Perishable Food Rescue distributed more than 1.3 million pounds of food last year to local hunger relief agencies that feed low-income men, women, and children in metropolitan Omaha. The Conagra Brands Foundation grant supports its efforts to rescue protein, produce, dairy, and prepared meals from local restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, and other food purveyors. This waste diversion program ensures nutritious fresh food gets into the hands of people facing food insecurity and requires extensive food safety knowledge and logistical efficiency. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Megan M. - Omaha, NE

WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSION ON AGING (MD) Project: Meals on WheelsThe Washington County Commission on Aging's mission is to promote quality aging and meet the needs, protect the rights, and preserve the dignity of senior citizens. Funding from the Conagra Brands Foundation assists in its Meals on Wheels program, currently serving 140 homebound older adults in Washington County, MD. Support is critical to maintaining operations that support vulnerable older adults in the community and reduce the potential of exposure to COVID-19 among a high-risk population. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Denise K. - Hagerstown, MD

WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN (DC) Project: WCK DirectWorld Central Kitchen is constantly innovating to ensure that people have access to high quality meals. This grant from the Conagra Brands Foundation supports a text-to-order program that leverages technology to enable eligible food insecure households to order meals directly for delivery or pick-up from participating restaurants. This program operates in The Bronx, NY; Chicago, IL; Oakland, CA and this grant supports the program currently operating in Washington, DC. Nominated by Conagra Brands employee: Stephanie W. - Omaha, NE

About Conagra Brands Conagra Brands, Inc. (CAG) - Get Conagra Brands, Inc. Report, headquartered in Chicago, is one of North America's leading branded food companies. Guided by an entrepreneurial spirit, Conagra Brands combines a rich heritage of making great food with a sharpened focus on innovation. The company's portfolio is evolving to satisfy people's changing food preferences. Conagra's iconic brands, such as Birds Eye®, Marie Callender's®, Banquet®, Healthy Choice®, Slim Jim®, Reddi-wip®, and Vlasic®, as well as emerging brands, including Angie's® BOOMCHICKAPOP®, Duke's®, Earth Balance®, Gardein®, and Frontera®, offer choices for every occasion. For more information, visit www.conagrabrands.com.

About Conagra Brands FoundationConagra Brands Foundation believes everyone has a right to healthy and nutritious food knowing that food insecurity exists in every U.S. county. The Foundation partners with exceptional national and local nonprofits with high-impact programs located in the communities where we live and work. By focusing our efforts within five areas: Direct Food Access, Cooking Skills, Nutrition Education, Healthy and Active Lifestyles and Urban Agriculture, we are able to be a leader in the fight against food insecurity in North America.

For more information, please contact: Tim Wrona312-549-5400 tim.wrona@conagra.com

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