Many who know/follow me know I’m a Food Network junkie. It’s my ESPN. So I see a lot of the spots for Share Our Strength because Food Network is a partner. I am so thankful for the efforts of Food Network to combat and increase awareness of childhood hunger.
In my work as a public school educator, and especially as homeless education liaison, I know the need is great. Kids (and parents) are hungry. I know this because I have parents calling me because they don’t have any food. I know this because my school does a monthly Gleaners food distribution. I know this because my friend manages a weekly Forgotten Harvest site. I know this because of some of the phone calls I’ve received over the last week.
On of my responsibilities is Title I Summer Programs Coordinator. This year we are able to provide bus transportation to both of our sites. And both of our program locations are Summer Food Service Program sites where children under 18 can get free meals, so students attending the programs will get breakfast and lunch. How do I know this is a big deal for our families? Because I have lost track of the number of phone calls I’ve fielded from parents concerned if their child takes the bus s/he will still be able to eat. I’m talking huge-sigh-of-relief when I assure them that we coordinated the bus and program schedules so all students will get both breakfast and lunch.
Sometimes it makes me want to cry. Sometimes it brings me joy that I am able to make a difference. Sometimes I pause and reflect on how much I take for granted. Sometimes I am outraged that in this nation of bounty, so many have so little.
If you are able, please, do one thing this summer to help a hungry child. Donate to a food pantry. Donate to an organization such as Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners, Hope Center or Share Our Strength. Donate through grocery store check-out programs. If everyone does something, a lot can be accomplished.
UPDATE Another way you can help: make a Longaberger purchase through this link through June 23, 2012. All proceeds will benefit the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD) Homeless Education Project. Some of these funds will be used to purchase grocery gift cards and fast food gift cards (for families in motels who have no way to cook) to provide some assistance for homeless children.