I live in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in the Metro Detroit area. And I’ve come to the realization that the ones affected the most by the continued plague of poverty are the children.
I know that everyone is concerned over the economy, but let’s face it, most of us have never had to send our kids to bed hungry.
We have never had to tell our kids that there is no dinner tonight. And we have never had to send our kids to school hungry, knowing that the relief would come when they could walk through the lunch line and receive their free lunch.
I am thankful for programs like the free and reduced lunch program.
But the truth is that it just is not enough. And what about the summer, or vacations when school is out?
Whose responsibility is it that these children not go through their entire childhood with the constant pangs of hunger reminding them that they have been overlooked by a nation that is full of wealth?
Even in these tough economic times there is still more than enough to go around.
I began doing a food distribution at the elementary school in my neighborhood where over 75% of the kids qualify for free lunch. That’s a lot of kids who rely on the free lunches they get each day when they come to school.
Basically what I do is drive down to the food bank and pick up 70-100 bags of groceries and then take them to the school and pass them out on Friday after school. Each bag contains enough food for one child to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the weekend.
When I first began the program I really didn’t fully understand the need. But week after week I hear of more stories that break my heart.
Like the week we had the opportunity to pass out backpacks full of school supplies and snack foods.
Two little girls came and said they didn’t want the backpacks full of stuff they only wanted the grocery bags with food in them. These girls valued the food they were getting each week more than the snacks and supplies that were in the backpacks.
Just last week a teacher told me that one of her students was sharing with her that there wasn’t any food at home and how excited she was that Friday was coming when she would be able to get her food bag and have food again.
These are only two examples among dozens.
The situation seems overwhelming.
And it is….. for one person.
But if we could all open our hearts to these children, we could really change the face of hunger.
So, I challenge you. When you are sitting down for dinner tonight, think of the kids that will spend their evening trying to forget the nagging reminder that there won’t be any more food to eat for three full days.
You can really make a difference. There are so many ways to help. I asked the question earlier, whose responsibility is it that these children be given something so basic as food? And I would say it is my responsibility. It is your responsibility. It is all of our responsibility.
There is so much that you can do to help a child not live in a world completely dictated by hunger.
Please check out the Tyson Foods site to see all of the different opportunities for getting involved!