The school where my son attends includes many kids on free and reduced lunches. Over the years, the number has increased of families who are provided with these meals. And, many of these kids also get care packages of food to take home each weekend.
It has been startling to see this change in my city from a thriving place of numerous jobs to fewer and fewer each year. This is, however, the reality, and one that we are trying to deal with. I am glad that our schools, our churches, and our community are working together to feed these children.
Children must have their bodies nourished before they can learn and have their brains nourished. If their stomachs are growling all day, it is very hard for them to focus on math problems, or write sentences. It is also hard to absorb what they are being taught if they are both hungry and thirsty.
My dad taught for several years in a poor community where this struggle was alive and well. He saw first hand the problem of hungry kids struggling to keep up with school work and learning. So, that district also provided food for them at a discounted price or full gift.
Many of the families in both communities were and still are the working poor. They work for minimum wage and do try to provide for their families. They aren’t just lazy and uncaring about their kids as some may think. They do want to provide but often struggle to make ends meet.
Now it seems that there is talk of taking these programs away. Perhaps some things could be changed, I don’t know. But you know who will be harmed the most with drastic removals of money and food? The kids. Are we not supposed to be providing for our families and our children? They are our responsibility from birth until they become adults. And, shouldn’t we be helping others?
I am not saying that no changes should be made or that money may not need to be trimmed back. The thing that bothers me is to say the poor don’t care about their children, shouldn’t be helped in feeling them, and then turn that into action of eliminated programs. I see families each day doing their best for their children.
My hope, prayer, and voice will be that before these programs are just gutted, something will take their place that will continue to help our nation’s children. The idea of hungry children in America is heartbreaking to me. Is it to you as well? Let’s help to ensure that doesn’t happen.