In the U.S., 31 million children receive free or reduced cost lunches during the school year. Many also receive breakfast and snacks. This is done in part because it is hard for a student to concentrate while hungry. The schools involved aren’t just public schools. Some not-for-profit private schools also participate in the program.
These programs answer a need in the communities they serve. There’s only one problem. When school’s out for the summer, so are the meals. The good news is that we can all change that. In fact, helping a child get a meal can be as close as a mouse click away.
ConAgra and Kid President: This young man is something of a YouTube sensation. One of his videos shows what’s great about summer, brings up the point about kids not getting food…and one of the solutions available.
I am not gullible when it comes to “click like and so-and-so will donate.” Most of them are hoaxes…but this one is not. If you click like on the video link, ConAgra will donate funds to help provide meals for children who might not otherwise get to eat.
Local Programs: There are local programs that offer free lunches. Some school districts continue to offer free lunches during summer months. The lunches may or may not be eaten at the school itself, so call to find out if your district does this and where.
The YMCA is another place to check. If there is a Y in your area, they probably are offering free lunches in a program with Walmart.
What can I do? Children are the responsibility of everyone. They are our future and it is our job to look out for them, even if they aren’t ours by birth. If you check your area and don’t find a program, there are things you can do.
Petition the school board: This should be done well in advance of the end of the school year. It takes time to set up a program, and while funding may be available it has to be requested. You can try to do it alone, but having a petition signed by a number of concerned parents will make more of a difference in your presentation.
Talk to your church: Part of the mission of the church is to reach out and help those in the community. It can be a grass roots program with your particular church or you can ask for help from the rest of the denomination.
Our kids shouldn’t have to go hungry. If there is a program, make sure that those in need are aware of it. If there isn’t…we have to step up to the plate.