Join Jennifer Garner’s Efforts To Fight Childhood Hunger In America

By simply doing your weekly grocery shopping for your family, you can help another family in need.

Jennifer Garner Once Upon a Farm

Brian Bowen Smith for Once Upon a Farm

Jennifer Garner has long been one of our favorite leading ladies. She’s wowed us in films like 13 Going on 30, Juno, and Dallas Buyers Club, and we’ve watched every season of Alias–twice. 

But behind the scenes, the West Virginia native has harnessed her prominent platform for good. For over a decade, Garner has partnered with Save the Children, a global nonprofit dedicated to the health, education, and protection of children. “I’ve worked with Save the Children for the last 14 years. And I hunted them down when I had been researching what organization had the most efficacy in rural America. Because I grew up in West Virginia where I knew some kids that could really use a helping hand,” Garner told Southern Living. She also shared that her mother grew up in rural Oklahoma. “So while I did not grow up poor I was surrounded by it and I always said I was a generation and a holler removed from rural poverty. And I went looking and ended up with Save the Children. Because they are definitely the leaders in helping kids in rural America.”

For over 100 years, Save the Children has helped improve the lives of children all over the world through literacy programs, numeracy education, disaster relief, social and emotional support, and curriculum for teachers working with kids who’ve experienced trauma. But Garner explained how the mission shifted after the pandemic. “We had always left feeding kids up to schools because there’s such great government feeding programs. Reduced school lunches or free school lunches and even breakfast. We would support with after school snacks, helping to support backpack programs, like Blessings in a Backpack, which I love. Or in our summer literacy programs, feeding kids there. And then we realized it wasn’t enough. And now there are 17 million kids who are going to bed hungry in food insecure homes in America and that has grown by 6 million since the pandemic and that is unacceptable.”

Save the Children pivoted quickly to meet the need. They have been working diligently to connect people and organizations with resources to those most in need of food on the table. Garner also saw this as another opportunity to help. Not only does the Golden Globe winner have a lot of influence, she is also co-founder of Once Upon a Farm, an organic food company with a mission to provide delicious and nutritious food to all kids, big or small. 

“When Save the Children got into the food space, part of our mission has been to level the nutritional playing field for kids and we said alright, we want to be partners here. We are in it with you. And we’re a tiny company. It’s kind of crazy. It’s an audacious goal for such a little company. But we decided let’s go for it. Let’s aim for the fences and so we pledged to help provide a million meals by the end of 2023, by the beginning of 2024. And we are well on our way,” Garner said with her signature smile. 

Garner and her small but mighty team are doing this A Million Meals Initiative through both financial support and getting out in the community to volunteer.

Reflecting on her years of being out in communities throughout America, she said, “ So in these caregivers, in the people making home visits on behalf of Save the Children, and people, and the moms raising all the kids with all the love in their hearts and up against such insurmountable struggles. You see God and you see grace. It is a gift to me that I am welcomed into these homes.” 

She continued, “They want to feel seen and heard and I am here to tell you that everybody loves their babies as  much as I love mine. And that’s a lot… Everyone wants the best for their kids. Everyone wants their kids to have more than they’ve had. And Once Upon a Farm is determined to help give that to kids and to help be part of the solution.”

Now, you can contribute to the Million Meals by doing nothing more than your weekly grocery shop for your own family. If Once Upon a Farm products are already a staple in your home, then you are already helping. “Any time you buy from us you are buying from a company that is committed to bringing organic, fresh, fare to WIC programs and to donating to kids who need it,” Garner said.

But now, there is a specific product to add to your list. Once Upon a Farm’s Overnight Oats are now a part of their give-back program.  For every Overnight Oats pouch purchased, Once Upon a Farm will donate 25 cents to Save the Children, up to $125,000.  You can purchase these give-back pouches directly from the Once Upon a Farm website, or in many grocery stores nationwide including Publix, Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Fresh Market. 

Once Upon a Farm Overnight Oats

Brian Bowen Smith for Once Upon a Farm

“The thing that I take most to heart is that I know moms trust us and I know that kids love us. And that combination, I feel like we can do anything. And the more we grow, the more we’ll be able to give to Save and to kids who need us. And that is really a huge part of what drives everyone at the company.”

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