A poster from United Way explains how to donate to the Smart Start Cereal Drive. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Food insecurity is a critical need for children across the country, with many families utilizing school-based breakfast and lunch programs to ensure that their children have access to at least two meals each day.

This challenge is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, with waves of uncertainty around school reopening and many more families struggling to put food on their tables on a daily basis.

In place of Granite United Way’s traditional Day of Caring, they have launched the Smart Start Cereal Campaign, which empowers our communities to support children and families by donating cereal and other non-perishable breakfast items. In partnership with local food shelves, this safe, no/low-touch engagement opportunity will help students start each day with the fuel they need to learn and grow.

“The spirit of giving back is alive and well across each of Granite United Way’s six regions. We’ve been working with local volunteers and corporate partners to ensure that even though our traditional Day of Caring may look different — we are still able to provide help this fall,” said Patrick Tufts, president and CEO of Granite United Way.

“Giving individuals and families a ‘smart start’ will benefit thousands. We are grateful for the way so many have reached out to launch this unique effort,” he said.

The Smart Start Cereal Campaign is running from Sept. 16-Oct. 16.

Companies can host a cereal drive at their location or text GUWFEEDS to 41444 to donate via mart Start Text-to-Give Campaign for a safe, no-touch option.

Sponsors of the event include Merrimack County Savings Bank, AFL Global, Meredith Village Savings Bank and Comcast.

In Northern Region and North Country, contact Laura Boucher at (603) 752-3343 or laura.boucher@graniteuw.org.

Additional information can be found at graniteuw.org.

Granite United Way is an experienced and trusted organization dedicated to leveraging the resources of investors and volunteers to create lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of our community’s most pressing needs. Granite United Way is committed to improving the lives of individuals and families by supporting programs in the areas of education, income and health. Granite United Way works with over 1,000 companies, 25,000 investors and thousands of volunteers every year to help communities learn, earn and be healthy. Granite United Way is highly rated by both GuideStar and Charity Navigator.

Granite United Way serves the Southern (Manchester/Derry/Salem), Merrimack County, North Country, Central New Hampshire, Northern and Upper Valley Regions of New Hampshire and Vermont as well as Windsor County, Vermont.

For more information, go to graniteuw.org.

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