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Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

With nearly 17 million malnourished children in America, an updated version of the adage could read: "Give a child a meal and you feed him for a day. Teach a child to cook and feed him for a lifetime."

Across the country, advocates for improved nutrition are focused on accomplishing the latter. In 2012, organizations like Feeding America and Share Our Strength provided nutrition and food skills education to hundreds of thousands of children living without sufficient access to food. 

"The burden of relief falls increasingly to networks of non-profits," wrote James Beard Award-winning chef Jose Andres in a recently published op-ed, co-authored by food activist Alice Waters and famed cookbook author Joan Nathan. "We should take note of these organizations' larger calling. They emphasize rightly that filling a stomach is only a stopgap."

According to Feeding America, more than 30 million low-income children received free or reduced-price meals through the federal National School Lunch Program in 2010, but only 2.3 million benefited from a similar program when school was out during the summer.

During the summer months, Feeding America operates a program through 81 food banks across the country to "meet the needs of hungry children...by providing them with nutritious meals and snacks when other resources are not available."

Meanwhile, Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters program operates year round to with more than 2,000 volunteers across 40 states to empower and educate low-income families on providing nutritious diets on a tight budget. 

The program offers different programs for different age groups, including providing nutritious recipes that children can prepare for themselves, reading ingredient labels for teenagers and preparing a healthy meal for a family of four on a $10 budget for adults. After each class, adults and teens take home a bag of groceries to practice the recipes they learned, according to the Cooking Matters website.

"By combining access to food with education about food, we believe we can ensure that no kid goes hungry," wrote Janet McLaughlin, senior director for Cooking Matters, in the program's 2011 annual report.

Share Our Strength runs a variety of programs aimed at preventing American children from going hungry. To get involved, visit Cooking Matters.

This spring, The Capital Grille will partner with Share Our Strength donating $25 for every bottle of wine sold during its fourth annual Artist Series Wine Event. Learn more.