Recognizing the strong connection between hunger, oral health and overall health, Delta Dental of Michigan today announced a philanthropic partnership with Forgotten Harvest, one of the nation’s largest food rescue organizations.
During a press conference at Forgotten Harvest, Delta Dental of Michigan announced a financial commitment of $237,000 to the nonprofit. Funds will be used to support Forgotten Harvest’s Healthy Food-Healthy Kids program, which includes:
- School Pantry Project, a focused distribution initiative for vulnerable families with young children and with early childhood education and area school agencies
- Summer Lunch Program, which provided more than 105,000 nutritious lunches to kids at 40 partner agencies over the summer of 2015
- Detroit Public Library Children’s Feeding Partnership, an afterschool snack and lunch program with all 22 of the DPL branches while promoting its reading, homework and tutoring programs
The partnership is born out of a desire to address issues related to hunger and oral health, which are inextricably linked to overall health. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, without enough fresh, healthy food, a child is more likely to get sick, be hospitalized and take longer to recover. In addition, not eating enough nutritious food can also impact a child’s ability to eat, talk or learn.
“There is a direct correlation between a child’s performance and achievement in school and their health,” said Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes. “Together, Forgotten Harvest and Delta Dental of Michigan will help children not go hungry and have strong oral health.”
“Poor oral health and hunger both have a huge impact on school and life success. In fact, children and families facing food insecurity are also more likely to have serious oral health issues, like cavities,” said Teri Battaglieri, Delta Dental of Michigan Director for Communications, Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy, and Director for the Delta Dental Foundation. “We are proud to support Forgotten Harvest and help families in metro Detroit find access to fresh, nutritious food, raise awareness about good oral health and receive dental care.”