Carolina Hunger Initiative

The Carolina Hunger Initiative is a new project at the University of North Carolina working in collaboration with NO KID HUNGRY NORTH CAROLINA, part of Share Our Strength’s national No Kid Hungry Campaign.

Improving access to healthy meals year-round for North Carolinians.

The Carolina Hunger Initiative is a new project at the University of North Carolina working in collaboration with NO KID HUNGRY NORTH CAROLINA, part of Share Our Strength’s national No Kid Hungry Campaign.

Girl eating


FIND FREE, HEALTHY MEALS FOR KIDS: Text FOOD to 877-877 or use the online map to find the sites with meals for kids nearest you. Learn more.

USDA EXTENDS FREE MEALS FOR KIDS THROUGH DEC. 31, 2020: Check your school or district’s website, social media, and direct communications for the latest information on how where to find meals and how this might affect meal service for your children. Thank you to USDA for making this decision that benefits all children and school nutrition staff in NC. And thank you to the school nutrition team at the NC Department of Public Instruction and the many other NC organizations that were early and fierce advocates for this extension. Learn more.

VOICES FROM THE FRONT LINE OF SCHOOL NUTRITION IN NC: Quotes from district-level School Nutrition Administrators in North Carolina about the challenges they face as schools reopen for the fall, and the experience of serving school meals during the COVID-19 emergency. Learn more.

EMERGENCY MEALS-TO-YOU: More than 12,000 children from 20 rural school districts across North Carolina are receiving boxes of meals shipped directly to their home during COVID-19 school closures and summer break. Learn more.

THE NC RESTAURANTS FEEDING KIDS INITIATIVE: The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and the Carolina Hunger Initiative are inviting new vendors, restaurants, and other food providers to help school districts and community organizations feed kids during the COVID-19 emergency. New profiles of sponsor-restaurant partnerships are now online. Learn more.

Based at the UNC CENTER FOR HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE PREVENTION (UNC HPDP), we use programming, applied research, and compelling communications to support policy, systems, and environmental changes to more readily connect people with the food they need. As the Carolina Hunger Initiative, we continue to build relationships with state agencies, school systems and community partners. Our new structure and identity allow us to pursue new projects, which will address child hunger from different approaches and promote healthy food access for all people in our state.

Why are we announcing this new initiative now? The Carolina Hunger Initiative is exploring innovative approaches to support our state’s food systems during the unprecedented COVID-19 emergency. Unusual times call for unusual responses. Launching at this pivotal time opens a new window to explore timely, creative approaches. We welcome and embrace ideas for the tough challenges we face now and tomorrow. Our goal is to incubate sustainable solutions for expanding equitable food access.

Our Work

COVID-19 Response

After Governor Roy Cooper announced NC schools would close due to the COVID-19 emergency, our team launched tools to provide resources for meal providers and to inform families in need where free, healthy meals for kids would be available.

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Child Nutrition Team at UNC HPDP

Working with school districts and community partners across the state, our goal is to end childhood hunger by increasing access to healthy food options served through the underutilized federally-assisted nutrition programs for kids.

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Blue Cross NC Child Hunger Impact Project

This three-year funding partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is awarding grants statewide to schools and community organizations that provide critical meals for kids who need them at breakfast, after school, and in the summer.

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Contact Us

Follow Us

Find resources and communications from our vital state partner, the NC Department of Public Instruction – Child Nutrition Services.