NAPLES, Fla. — Sept. 27, 2019 —The Pan-Florida Challenge Board of Directors approved several adjustments to its formal mission statement. While the non-profit will remain committed to solving childhood hunger, the mission will now help to fund cancer research and its link to nutrition, chronic hunger, and malnutrition. Pan-Florida Challenge will also provide emotional support for cancer patients and their families, as well as financial assistance during the course of their treatment.
The new mission statement will read: “Pan-Florida Challenge raises money for cancer prevention and patient support. We provide nutritious PFC Power Pack meals to chronically hungry children because malnutrition has been shown to increase the risk of cancer. We also partner with organizations to help fund cancer research and offer financial and emotional support to cancer patients of all ages and their families. PFC has provided more than five million meals to children since our founding in 2014.”
“The relationship between diet and cancer is hard to ignore,” said Ed Mullen, founder and chairman of Pan-Florida Challenge. “And because of that, cancer — as an additional component to our mission — was something we felt we needed to address. Most of us know someone, directly or indirectly, who has been affected by cancer. We want to bring attention to the importance of healthy eating, especially for children, and its implication on life-threatening diseases.”
As a result of chronic hunger and malnutrition, children are more likely to develop cancer or other health conditions, according to the World Health Organization. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet could be key to prevention, and health experts say eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, and healthy fats is the place to start. Consequently, Pan-Florida Challenge will restructure their weekend backpack meals to include these types of cancer fighting foods.
“It’s an exciting time for Pan-Florida Challenge. The sooner we can start educating our children and community on nutrition, the better off they’ll be,” says Jeri Goetz executive director at Pan-Florida Challenge.
“It’s important that we know as much as we can about this disease and how nutrition plays a part in it. We want to continue feeding food insecure children to keep them healthy, while also helping to prevent these unfortunate health repercussions.”