Nearly 17 million children in America – almost one in four – struggle with hunger. To help provide hungry children in the United States access to the nutritious meals they need to lead healthy lives, the non-profit Grain Foods Foundation has teamed up with TV’s favorite housewife, Teri Hatcher, and Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to launch the 2011 Bread Art Project.

The campaign engages consumers in an effort to help nourish children in need while simultaneously providing nutrition information.

The Bread Art Project serves as a digital fundraising mechanism for Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Consumers are encouraged to help fight childhood hunger by visiting breadartproject.com to create a personalized piece of bread art – at no cost – by uploading a favorite drawing or photo, or designing a new one using a digital slice of bread as the canvas. For each piece of approved bread art created from April 1 through June 30, 2011, the Grain Foods Foundation will donate $1 to Share Our Strength.

“You can go to this website, BreadArtProject.com, and you can create a piece of toast,” Teri said on The View this week. “And for every person that creates a piece of toast, Grains Food Foundation donates $1 to Share Our Strength, which is a charity dedicated to ending childhood hunger by 2015. One in four children still, in America, go hungry. It is outrageous. They are getting the message out that breads and grains are nutritious and full of fortifying minerals that people need, so it’s a really great thing.”

Last year, consumers helped the Grain Foods Foundation raise $50,000 for Share Our Strength and their efforts to end childhood hunger in America.

“I really commend the Grain Foods Foundation’s efforts to provide children in need with proper nutrition and nourishment,” said Hatcher. “As a mother it’s heartbreaking to learn the impact of childhood hunger in this country. I’m proud to support the Bread Art Project and become part of the solution to this growing problem.”

To understand the impact of childhood hunger, consider this: Children who struggle with hunger are sick more often, recover more slowly, and are more likely to be hospitalized. They are more likely to experience headaches, stomachaches, colds, ear infections and fatigue. Lastly, children who face hunger are more susceptible to obesity and its harmful health consequences as children and as adults.

“Staples like bread and grains provide many essential nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy,” said Judi Adams MS, RD and president of the Grain Foods Foundation. “Plus, they are affordable and versatile items families can use to stretch their grocery dollars at home.”

To help put a face on the nation’s hunger issue, the Grain Foods Foundation has created the Face Hunger application, which allows Facebook users to apply the one-in-four-child-hungry statistic to their friends.

“We are honored to be partnering with the Grain Foods Foundation on their Bread Art Project for the second year in a row in an effort to raise awareness about both childhood hunger and nutritious foods,” said Billy Shore, Share Our Strength Founder and Executive Director. “The creativity of the Project – including its website and Facebook application –allows consumers the chance to better understand the issue and be a part of the solution at the same time.”

To find out what it would look like if one in four of your friends went hungry, visit facebook.com/gowiththegrain. To make a personalized piece of bread art in support of Share Our Strength, visit breadartproject.com.

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