This is a press release submitted to the Las Vegas Sun. It has not been verified or edited by the Sun.
The Bennett Family Foundation and The Engelstad Family Foundation Pledge $1 Million In Matching Funds to Feed Hungry Children in Southern Nevada
Published on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 (1:15 p.m.)LAS VEGAS — The Bennett Family Foundation and the Engelstad Family Foundation, both mutually invested in ending childhood hunger, have pledged $1 million toward Three Square Food Bank and its mission to feed food insecure children in Southern Nevada. Every dollar raised is specifically designated as matching funds, calling on corporations, foundations and individuals to come together and meet the full dollar amount by May 21, 2013.
During this time of great change and inordinate need, Three Square, the Bennett Family Foundation and the Engelstad Family Foundation remain committed to improving the lives of local children in need of hunger-relief. Interested community members can take part in the challenge April 9 through May 21, 2013. Funds can be paid-in- full or pledged, and may be multi-year gifts. Donate now at www.threesquare.org or by calling 702-644-FOOD (3663) ext. 300.
Funds resulting from the challenge will go directly towards meeting one of Three Square’s missions of providing wholesome food to hungry children. This past year, Three Square distributed approximately 25 million pounds of food and grocery product into the community. The funds will significantly help with the food bank’s childhood hunger programs: Kids Cafe®, a program of Feeding America, Summer Food Service Program and BackPack for Kids. Through a network of nearly 600 program partners, Three Square currently serves nearly 100,000 individuals monthly – 40,000 of which are children.
“The combined gift will help ensure that children who rely on Three Square and our network of program partners will continue to have help available when they need it most,” said Three Square Food Bank President and CEO Brian Burton. “We are asking the community to rise to the challenge together and bring this generous gift to its full capacity; matching the $1 million will result in the equivalent of 6 million meals for people in need.”
According to a recent study by Feeding America, there are approximately 340,000 Southern Nevadans currently struggling with hunger, a great percentage of that number being children, even after all existing non-profit and governmental food assistance programs. This means that one in six local families face food insecurity or may not know where their next meal is coming from at some point throughout the year.
“We know that the need in this community is greater than ever before,” Burton continued. “With the phenomenal support and generosity of dedicated partners like the Bennett Family Foundation and the Engelstad Family Foundation, we will continue to grow and expand until the need for food in this community is met.”
“Our goal is to help eradicate childhood hunger,” cited Diana Bennett of the Bennett Family Foundation. “We recognize that step-by-step, we will decrease childhood hunger in Southern Nevada. If through these efforts we can guarantee more children in need get the food so necessary to their well-being, then we have been blessed in our efforts.”
“We applaud the work of Three Square and their childhood hunger programs,” said Kris McGarry of the Engelstad Family Foundation. “Our gift supports their growth and we are proud to play a role in helping guarantee children in need will have the essential nutrition so that they can turn their attention to learning, playing and being a child.”
About the Bennett Family Foundation
The Bennett Family Foundation mission is to aid women and children in health, education, welfare and cultural development. Since its establishment in 2005 by Diana Bennett, the foundation has donated millions of dollars towards supporting Southern Nevada organizations such as Child Focus, Opportunity Village, Three Square Food Bank, the Smith Center, Nevada Children’s Center, the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV and the Nevada Ballet.
About the Engelstad Family Foundation
Ralph Engelstad left an indelible mark on Southern Nevada as the owner of the Imperial Palace and co-developer of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was one of the largest real estate owners in the United States, as well as one of its most generous philanthropists. Before his passing ten years ago, Engelstad and his wife Betty set the stage for the creation of a foundation that would enable their family to redirect their assets to meet the needs of others. Under the guidance of Betty Engelstad, their daughter Kris Engelstad McGarry and trustee Jeff Cooper, the Engelstad Family Foundation has donated more than $217 million to support causes in Nevada, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Dakota. Nevada organizations benefiting from foundation gifts include Three Square Food Bank, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, Opportunity Village, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy and UNLV.
About Three Square Food Bank
Established in 2007 to provide hunger relief, Three Square Food Bank offers wholesome, nutritious food to non- profit and faith-based organizations, schools and feeding sites that serve a wide range of Southern Nevadans. A national model project inspired by Eric Hilton with a grant provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Three Square is a community collaborative partnership with businesses, non-profit agencies, food distributors, higher education institutions, the Clark County School District, governmental entities, the media and thousands of volunteers to efficiently and effectively serve hope to those in our community struggling with hunger. Three Square currently provides more than 24.5 million pounds of food and grocery product – the equivalent of more than 18.8 million meals – per year to nearly 600 Program Partners. Three Square is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks. For additional information visit www.threesquare.org. For the latest news and events on Three Square, visit www.facebook.com/ThreeSquareFoodBank and follow them on Twitter @threesquarelv.