Local Woman Appears on “CBS This Morning” For Nonprofit Fighting Hunger

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – A local woman and her efforts to end hunger in America has gained national attention.

Jennifer Barker appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about a nonprofit she co-founded called “Per Diems Against Poverty.”

New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson looked back on his time in minor league baseball in the story that aired Monday (March 28).

“I had teammates that would pack loaves of bread, peanut butter and jelly for our long bus rides because they knew they weren't going to have enough money to make it on that road trip,” Granderson said.

Now, he and other major league players get about a $100 per diem each day they travel for away games, and he's deciding to donate it so others can eat.

“Literally every dollar -- and I’m not just saying this, every dollar matters,” Jennifer Barker said.

Barker and her cousin Brittany Hodak started Per Diems Against Poverty, and they have teamed up with Feeding America, which has 200 food banks across the nation.

“It just made sense not to come up with our own distributing network, and partner with them and give 100 percent of all those funds to the designated food bank of the donor's choice,” Barker said.

“When the idea was brought in taking your per diem and helping out those in needs to provide meals for them, it was a no-brainer,” Granderson said in the interview.

But it's not just baseball players donating extra cash; the company is working with other sports, and Barker said they're pursing people in Hollywood.

"For the per diem contract that the players sign, they can designate either 100 percent or 50 percent. It's not an all or nothing scenario, and they can actually divide that up among different Feeding America food banks," Barker explained.

So far, no donations have been designated to the River Valley Regional Food Bank. Barker wants to change that, by reaching out to business executives and corporations.

“Hopefully, some of those funds can come here, to the River Valley Regional Food Bank,” she said.

Barker said every dollar donated equals about eleven meals.

The company started receiving donations in August 2015, and any one can give to the non-profit organization.