FSW Receives Grant from ACME Stores to Support its Head Start Families

Summer is often the worst time for families facing food insecurity.  

The impact of hunger for many Westchester County families is felt most during the summer months when school is out and children no longer receive free meals.  

This is when organizations like Family Services of Westchester (FSW), which has the largest Head Start program in Westchester County, are put to the test in bringing food to the tables of hundreds of struggling families.  

Over the last few years, FSW has been working with organizations like Albertsons Foundation/ACME and its Nourishing Neighbors campaign to alleviate food insecurity and combat childhood hunger. FSW recently received a $15,000 O Organics Fight Hunger, Serve Hope grant from the foundation to provide ACME Supermarket gift cards this summer for its Head Start Early Childhood program. 

“The children and families we serve have limited budgets for food,” said Andrea Parada, Associate Director of Grants and Donor Relations at FSW. “The support of Albertsons/ACME has been instrumental in helping these children gain access to food. Given their circumstances, the easiest way to empower them is by giving them ACME gift cards so they can purchase their food. 

The FSW Senior Manager of Volunteers contacts local ACME store managers and informs them of the grant award and purchases gift cards for the children and distributes them to their families. This summer, an estimated 320 children will be supported by the grant.  

“We have 20 family advocates who work closely with our families, who come from various backgrounds – low income, recent immigrants, some in transitional living situations – to provide them with what they need, in terms of food, nutrition, health care, financial literacy, or how to better advocate for their children in school,” said Hope Lilian, FSW’s Senior Family and Communications Engagement Manager, of Early Childhood Programs.  “Over the years, we have been building relationships with the ACME store managers to provide fresh produce for our families. Poverty should not be a spectator sport.”  

About Family Services of Westchester 

Family Services of Westchester (FSW), founded in 1954, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Westchester County with a broad range of social and mental health services that strengthen and support families, children and individuals at every stage of the lifecycle.   

About Albertsons Companies Foundation 

Nourishing Neighbors is a charitable program of the Albertsons Companies Foundation. The program aims to eradicate hunger in America by keeping food banks stocked and supporting meal distribution programs at schools. In 2023, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company contributed over $200 million in food and financial support, including over $40 million through the Nourishing Neighbors Program, to ensure at-risk children, adults, seniors and families have access to the food they need to thrive.