This… breaks my heart. I can’t watch it without crying.*
Hunger Hits Home – that’s the link to the entire thing. It won’t embed… so here’s the clip they’ve made.
One out of five kids is going hungry in the United States. I can’t even type that without tearing up. (Obviously it’s not a straight up one out of every five kids in any given group…) But I imagine it’s a lot more prevalent than any of us think. I know the kids I teach are provided with lunch, and I imagine a number of them need it.
Some are also sent home with a backpack on the weekends, that has food, etc. It’s provided by a local church in the community.
There’s also this from Feeding America.
Where the kid says he hasn’t eaten in three days… or another says he feels like he’s about to die or pass out from hunger…
I obviously don’t have a solution to this, but I want to raise awareness. Encourage everyone to do what they can – or continue to do what you’re doing.
People remember to give during the holidays… but need is year round.
*Food Network has a special/documentary. It first aired on April 15. (I was at the EDWoD) I meant for this to go live on the 14th as well… but I’m editing it to fit “now.” Hunger Hits Home will air again on April 21 at 6 PM EDT, and April 21, at 10 AM EDT.
It seems obvious, but kids do better in school when they’re well fed. And … that the government has money, and this country has the food and resources to feed people. It’s the awareness of these issues and programs, and distribution.
Consider – even if it’s a one off – donating to a local food bank at a random time. Volunteer at a soup kitchen on an “off day” [a time other than Thanksgiving or Christmas.] Checking into local programs and seeing how it’s being run.
I checked Charity Navigator, but I’m actually not in love with the scores of Feeding America or Share Our Strength… but it’s not as if they’re bad or anything – and I definitely believe it’s better to do something than nothing at all. Consider a local organization – or just going there to check it out, talk to someone.
Summers are often the “problem times” because kids aren’t getting meals from school. Something to think about while you’ve got time to plan and consider if you’d like to help out.
🙂 Thanks for sticking with me through this bleeding heart post. I’d love to hear what you do, or if you plan on doing anything. <3
Right now, I donate to the Houston Food Bank to help.
Ali – that doesn’t surprise me at all. You’re a total generous soul. <3 Also I'm sure they appreciate it even more than you can imagine.
I donate to the South Philly Food Bank. When I worked (before I was married with kids) I volunteered at a food bank in Columbus through a program with United Way. It was always a humbling experience. When we lived in CA, the poverty in the area was atrocious. I knew many families that fostered kids who were used to being hungry and were so amazed to see a pantry full of food, cabinets well stocked. Many of us are oh-so lucky, and nothing gets to me more than knowing that kids are going hungry.
Feed the Children (add .org to find the site) is an agency that I’ve given to in the past. I’m sure there are a lot of really great agencies out there and its helpful to do your research before giving to make sure the money goes where its supposed to.
Thanks for the post, Lime. It’s always good to be reminded of what we do have and how to help others.
Liz, I agree – even when people are struggling with you, and you interact with them, you still never know what it’s like, you know? And… it’s difficult, but we can’t help but feel grateful for that. [On our part, obviously, not theirs.] – Hope that’s making sense
Yes! Feed the Children is a great organization … Save the Children too was our charity/project for SMSG11.
Thank *you* for taking part in the effort to help.
Every year a group of 70 kids does a 30 hour famine. We work with World Vision and the kids fast for 30 hours and get sponsors. We also work with local stores to have them work with the kids to donate food to local food pantries.
On our home front, I make sure that all of the stores have contact information for the food pantries so that they can donate expired food to them. I have even printed out the good Samaritan law that protects them from law suits.
I work with a group if women and we cut coupons and buy sale items to donate to local pantries. During the summer, I organize a community wide bake sale that we donate to the food pantry that services the not school aged children. Over the last 5 years, we have been able to feed 75 families over the long school holidays and 50 families for the whole summer.
Hi booksapalooza – World Vision is a great organization. I’ve done the 30 hour famine in high school, but the way it was run wasn’t that organized, unfortunately.
I love that/when stores donate food – too many are scared of legal implications/paperwork and just think it’s easier (if not better) – to just toss everything. : Good for you on showing them that isn’t an issue!
That’s sooo cool you do couponing for donations!
You are a total inspiration with all you do. Thanks for sharing, and being such an encouragement!
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I’ve asked the office at my daughter’s elementary school to put $20 onto a few kids’ lunch cards when they get low (I do it anonymously through the office so I don’t know who gets it, and they don’t know me)
Laura, that is so sweet of you to do! And I know it makes a *huge* difference to whatever kid is getting it. What a great idea!
Thanks for sharing it. 🙂
Local food pantries can do amazing jobs…the Krogers around here have these little packages where you just add in things like macaroni, some veggies, pasta, the basic stuff and it goes right to your local community. I know a lot of people want to see their money going to someplace that has an impact and if you have a local foodbank, you know food donations are needed. Even things like peanut butter and pasta and spaghetti sauce-fairly inexpensive, but they can make a huge difference.
For those who have about $80 to spare? Try Blessings in a Backpack. You’ll help for a child for an entire school year. It was started in Louisville and has spread out to almost 400 schools, I think. http://www.blessingsinabackpack.org/
Damn it, Lime. Kids. You know kids get to me.
I love when stores take the initiative. I’ve only seen it a few times at some local stores, but I want to say it’s a seasonal thing, not constant.
I definitely agree that donating actual items works best – across the board. You know someone who needs it will be getting it, and that it won’t somehow go into a person’s salary, etc.
I’ve never heard of Blessings in a Backpack – thanks for sharing the link! I think it’s great a number of churches and community centers have taken the initiative to do similar things in their local communities.
I don’t consider it a bleeding heart post. This is a major, shameful issue in out country. SECOND HARVEST is a major food delivery source for food distributions around the country. This area has great need, about 65% of the kids are on the free lunch programs. Many systems continued over the summer ols have the backpack program.
Thank you. I think it’s important to remember – as you mentioned – the need continues during the summer when there is no school. It breaks my heart for kids to be going hungry during that period.
And you’re right – it IS a shameful issue in our country, especially since there’s absolutely no reason for it. Beyond no reason, it shouldn’t be happening because it could easily be addressed/eliminated.
The Bowery Mission here provides free food for anyone in need.
That’s fantastic! I love places like that. There’s a place here that does the same – and not only do they provide food though, they also offer services. Training and education, to help people find jobs, etc, and try to get into better circumstances and situations.
Excellent post. Back when I was still a teacher, I was appalled at the poverty that many of my students endured. The free meals at school were often the only food that they ate during that day. Cupboards at their home were completely empty. Absolutely heartbreaking. I donate to any and all food drives – sometimes with money, sometimes with food from the cupboards. Also, I am a sucker for all school fundraisers, big or small!
I can’t even imagine being with such kids all day every day. I was a tutor/mentor throughout college, but really only spent significant time with the kids once a week. Same with now, with the teaching/program I do.
I hear from their [actual/daily] teachers though that some kids turn their nose up at what some of the lunches are. >.<
Oh little hoodbrats. At least they're getting enough to eat then, to be able to pass on food? <– said totally tongue in cheek
I heart you all <3