Today we’ll be talking about a topic that is really near and dear to my heart – child hunger. Many of you know that I taught school for ten years. While I did teach in a more affluent area, it was eye-opening to see how many of my students received free and reduced-price lunch.
Many of these kids would “stock up” on food while at school because they were not sure what they had at home. My heart went out to these kids. If I had them in a long after-school rehearsal (I taught and directed theatre), I would make sure they were taken care of. I could only do so much as a teacher, and I hope those little things helped.
One thing we fail to realize about these kids is that they heavily rely on their school lunches. In fact, one in six children may not have enough to eat and could be greatly impacted during the summer when they do not get what can sometimes be their only meal of the day. I feel it is important that we talk to our own children about hunger issues and explore how we can help. Talking about hunger doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, if you head to scholastic.com/hungrytohelp, there are some great resources to get the discussion started with your kids.
I sat down with Kennedy and we had a great discussion on how some kids don’t have all the awesome snacks and food that we have in our house. Sometimes kids don’t have enough to eat, even though their mommies and daddies try really hard to give them food. She was sad to hear this and said, “We can give them some of our food!” I did not prompt her whatsoever, and my heart was so happy to hear that she immediately wanted to take action.
I told her it was an amazing idea for us to share some of our food with kids who do not have enough. We’ll be making a trip to our local food bank this week. It’s essential to teach children the importance of giving back, and summer is the perfect opportunity to start that habit. We kept the discussion going and I asked her to draw her “perfect world” – one of the materials provided in the Hungry to Help Family Action Plan. She drew a pink world with lots of people smiling.
I asked her if there was any way we could help to make this world a little more perfect, and her wisdom surprised me. She said we could help others and be nice. We should all follow that advice: help others and be nice. I encourage you to talk to your kids about hunger and create a list of ways that you as a family can get involved in the fight to end hunger this summer. The need is so high right now and your help can make a big impact.