There are hungry children everywhere
At elementary schools in my town, children sit at their desks at the beginning of the school day, and before they pull out their folders or hand in their homework, they are served breakfast. It may seem hard for some to believe, but the food that some of these children IN MY TOWN eat at school is their only food for the day.
So what happens when there is no school?
These children go hungry.
I live in Montgomery County, Maryland, which is by all standards a very wealthy county. We have resources. We have jobs. It is beautiful here, just up the road from the Nation’s Capitol. And yet children right here are hungry. It makes me sad that so many children don’t have enough food at home….
The Summer Food Service Program provides nutritious meals to children when school closes and is designed to bridge the summer vacation “nutrition gap.” Approximately 32% of children in Montgomery County or 44,000 students are eligible for free or reduced meals during the school year. The Summer Food Service Program feeds an average of 9,000 children each day at 111 sites throughout the county. And they still need more facilities to feed more children in need.
…and yet I have felt the panic myself as a mother of five kids not knowing where the money for a gallon of milk was going to come from.
We’ve been blessed, but we’ve been through some really hard times that have given me a glimpse into a life that I wouldn’t wish on any child.
Some statistics from around the country:
- More than 16 million children under the age of eighteen in the United States are food insecure—unable to consistently access adequate amounts of nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.
- Even more heartbreaking is the fact that more than three million children under the age of five are food insecure.
- The developing immune systems of young children ages 0 – 5 make them especially vulnerable to nutritional deprivation and as a result, the ability to learn, grow, and fight infections is adversely affected.
- While having enough food is important, the nutritional quality of that food is equally important. Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents ages 2 – 19 are obese, and 1 of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese.
(Sources: Feeding America; Center For Disease Control)
What can we do to help?
There are so many things that we can do to help, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or pricey. This week, my kids and I are getting ready to do a Simple Service Project, inspired by Champions for Kids. Next week, we will be assembling snack packs to donate to a local organization. It really is easy to help children in need IN YOUR AREA, and I would love to invite you to join me in making a small but REAL difference.
Check out the ideas for Simple Service Projects at Champions for Kids. What will you pledge to do?
Join the #AbbottCFK Twitter Party tonight!
Learn more about being a Champion for Kids and RSVP to be eligible for prizes on Found the Marbles.
Here are the Twitter Party details:
When: Thursday, January 19th at 9:00-10:00 pm EST
Where: On Twitter, of course! We will be using the hashtag #AbbottCFK. You can also use this custom TweetGrid: http://bit.ly/w0Fsq1
Who: Please follow the party hosts, @FoundtheMarbles, @LizLongcrier and @MonicaJohnson
Prizes: It wouldn’t be a Twitter party without prizes! They’re giving away…
(1) $100 Walmart Gift Card
(1) $50 Walmart Gift Card
(2) $25 Walmart Gift Cards
I’ll be updating shortly with my service project. I can’t wait to get my own kids involved making a DIFFERENCE for children in our county.
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #cbias. All opinions are my own.
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