Alongside Early Childhood, Every Hand Joined includes two other focused Networks; The Hunger Free Kids Network, and the Math Network, which both work towards meeting Every Hand Joined's mission for every child to succeed academically.
Describing the Hunger Free Kids Network, Ethan Seaburg, co-chair of the committee told me, “We know that kids who are hungry are focused on that, not their academic work, so we’ve been involved with several projects to meet the needs of students in the area in terms of hunger.” The Network grew out of hunger relief work of two prominent local organizations, the United Way and Packing for the Weekend. Members of the local religious community and health care field have partnered with these agencies to facilitate the Summer Food Program. The program, funded by the Minnesota Department of Education, provides lunch for children while school is out. Looking forward, the Network is working to start grab-and-go breakfast stations at the local high school. Describing this, Seaburg noted, “For many, knowing that there is a food pyramid meal that you didn’t have to prepare, that is cheaper actually than buying it yourself, is huge.” The project is also in step with work of the local school system to destigmatize free and reduced lunch programs.