CHILDHOOD FOOD SOLUTIONS

Solving child food insecurity one zip code at at time

aka Kidsfed   |   Cincinnati, OH   |  www.kidsfed.org

Mission

The mission of Childhood Food Solutions is to develop solutions for childhood food insecurity that can be applied in a community, tested for effectiveness and duplicated in other communities.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Tony Fairhead

Main address

2573 St. Leo Place

Cincinnati, OH 45225 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-0489068

NTEE code info

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (F01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Feeding America and other organizations calculate the number of children who are food insecure. Childhood Food Solutions defines a child as food insecure if he or she lives in a household where there is no reliable system to provide food all the time. In Greater Cincinnati, a prestigious telephone survey found that 51% of adults living at or below the Federal Poverty Guideline answered “Sometimes” or “Often” to the statement: “Within the past 12 months the food we bought just didn’t last and we didn’t have money to get more.” This is the problem we address by providing food support for non-school days to preschool and elementary-age students who receive subsidized school meals. These children are the most likely to be the children who run out of food.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Provide sacks of groceries to food-insecure children to carry them over late-month, non-school days.

Winter Break Sacks
Summer Break Sacks
Spring Break Sacks
Thanksgiving Sacks
Weekend Sacks

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students showing improvement in test scores

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Provide sacks of groceries to food-insecure children to carry them over late-month, non-school days.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Between 2008 and 2015, reading proficiency improved by 67% and math improved by 40%. Ohio testing changes reduced performance in 2016. Reading % recovery since 2016 is shown.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Many researchers have determined that food-insecure children do worse in school and have poorer health than their food-secure peers.
Our experience shows that it is impossible to increase food security for children without also providing food for adult family members, especially mothers, because children share their food. CFS policy is to provide enough food to allow this (otherwise the children go short).
This policy has the effect of bringing residents of a zip code to a higher level of food security. The most interesting change in zip code 45225 is in birth outcomes.
Birth outcomes have improved from 2007-08 to 2012-14:
- Preterm births have declined from 72 to 52 (a decline of 30 preterm births - a 38% improvement).
- Low-weight births have declined from 63 to 37 (a decline of 26 low-weight births - a 41% improvement).
- Infant mortality rate: 19 / 1,000 has improved to 13 / 1,000 (a 32% improvement).
Has improved food security in 45225 contributed to the improvement in birth outcomes?
Students who receive free school lunch are at greatest risk of receiving insufficient food on the 96 late-month, non-school days. CFS has has analyzed the city-wide relationship between food security and birth outcomes between 2007 and 2014:
Zip codes with >90% free lunch: 16.5% preterm and 12.1% low-weight births
Zip codes with 50-80% free lunch: 12.6% preterm and 8.7% low-weight births
Zip code with <15% free lunch: 11.5% preterm and 8.2% low-weight births
The relationship between free lunch and birth outcomes is clear and makes a 48% difference in the worst case.
The city-wide analysis validates the potential for increased food security in 45225 to lead to an improvement in birth outcomes.

Methods:
1. During the school year, CFS distributes sacks of groceries through elementary schools.
2. During summer break, CFS finds local organizations that can take sacks of groceries into the low-income neighborhoods where the food-insecure children live.
Analysis:
1. CFS is unique in investing the great majority of its resources in food for late December, late July, and late June because these are the longest stretches of late-month, non-school days.
2. CFS calculates the calories missed when there is no school lunch for a period of time (at 1,150 per day) and, funds permitting, provides this amount in the form of shelf-stable groceries.
Typical grocery items:
Peanut Butter (sealed jar): 3,040 calories - provides protein.
Honey Grahams: 1,820 calories - "gums-up-your-mouth" and quickly fills up your stomach.
Fruit & Grain Bars: 1,120 calories - micro-nutrients and 100% of daily folate.
Austin Cheese Crackers: 190 calories - "gums-up-your-mouth" and quickly fills up your stomach.
Mac & Cheese: 750 calories - familiar food - kids love it.
Ramen Noodle Soup: 380 calories - familiar food - kids love it.
Fruit Snack: 80 calories - 100% daily Vitamin C.

CFS has no paid staff. We are dependent on a volunteer executive director and other volunteers. This has been adequate for us to expand from one zip code to four (December, 2013, to April, 2015) but it is not possible to sustain the rate of donations necessary to support four zip codes so we have had to draw back and support only zip code 45225.
Our goal now has to explain the results achieved in one zip code and influence the extension of our work in one of four ways:
- A school district
- A city
- A county
- A state

The hope associated with birth outcomes has been described. Educational outcomes have been spectacular but are not statistically different from peer schools:
From 2008 to 2014, the percent of students achieving educational proficiency in 45225 has improved:
- 3rd grade reading: 29% improved to 73% (a gain of 148%)
- Reading (Grades 3-6): 33% improved to 62% (a gain of 89%)
- Math (Grades 3-6): 30% improved to 48% (a gain of 58%)
During the period when our elementary schools served grades Pre-K to 8, the percent of students with learning disabilities decreased from 23% to 17%.
We wish we could support children from conception to 3rd grade when Ohio testing begins but low-income families often change their residence with a resulting turnover in the families we support. This could explain the clearer results for birth outcomes where 9 months of residence can show a result. When you look at the numerical gains in birth outcomes from 2007-08 to 2012-14:
- Preterm births declined by 30. At the current estimated average cost of $60,000 per incident, the financial gain is $1.8 million. This compares to our $100,000 annual investment in groceries. If only two preterm births were avoided by improved food security, the financial gains outweigh the cost of food. Many births are considered to be term but low weight. Whenever the low weight necessitates NICU intervention, the costs are likely to approach $60,000 per incident.

Financials

CHILDHOOD FOOD SOLUTIONS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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CHILDHOOD FOOD SOLUTIONS

Board of directors
as of 10/12/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lisa Hyde-Miller

Community Resources Coordinator, Villages at Roll Hill

Term: 2013 -

Tony Fairhead

Consultant

Angela Anno

Pastoral Associate, St. Leo Church

Rodney Christian

Elder, Third Presbyterian Church

Lemuel Davis

Vice President, Community Lending, Union Savings Bank

Heidi Perry

Manager, Business Development, American Express

Anne Van Kirk

Principal, Symmes Elementary School, Sycamore Community School District

Lisa Hyde-Miller

Community Resource Director, Villages at Roll Hill

Everett Brewer

Pastor, President Drive Church of Christ

Karen Jahnke

Consultant

Jim Naramore

Retired President FSN, Inc.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No