Hilary Duff was in Bogota, Colombia, last week at the invitation of Mayor Samuel Moreno to embark on an ambitious four-day mission to bring meals to the city’s underprivileged children on behalf of Blessings in a Backpack.

During her four days in Bogota, Duff will handed out more than 3,000 backpacks filled with nutritious food for the children of Bogota.

“We are honored to have Hilary Duff launch Blessings in a Backpack in Bogota,” said Mayor Moreno. “Besides helping thousands of needy children, Blessings in a Backpack is aligned with our initiative, ‘Positive Bogota: To Live Better,’ which seeks to guarantee the enjoyment of a modern, prosperous, equal, cooperative, just and participative city.”

Blessings in a Backpack, founded by Stan Curtis in Louisville, Kentucky in 2005, serves more than 90 schools across the U.S. and provides weekend nourishment to qualified children in kindergarten through grade ten so they can learn at the same rate as their classmates. “Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of this program,” said Curtis.

Duff, who finished a week of filming “Gossip Girl” in New York City, a packed agenda during her visit to Bogota, which included visits to hospitals and orphanages, meetings with ex-gang members and Colombian officials.

“I am thrilled to be in Bogota to launch Blessings in a Backpack,” said Duff. “I want to express my gratitude to Mayor Moreno for offering me the opportunity to share this program, which is close to my heart, with the children of Bogota.”

“We are encouraged by Mayor Moreno’s welcome to Blessings in a Backpack,” said Curtis. “We see this visit to Bogota as an opportunity to share our program with the children of the world and we’re excited that the Mayor recognizes and supports social programs aimed at improving the lives of its most vulnerable citizens.”

With Blessings in a Backpack, Colombia’s goal is to create a sustainable healthy food program for children in very low income areas of Bogota. Working with the Secretary Generals office, and the Secretary of Education, Blessings in a Backpack will continue to provide nutritious food to children each weekend to insure that no children go hungry.

Mayor Moreno’s long-term plan for Bogota includes a city, where government action is directed toward achieving a greater quality of life for all citizens — an inclusive, just and equal city where human rights are recognized, respected and restored; where diversity is an opportunity and peace and reconciliation are possible.

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