|Photo Courtesy of http://nokidhungry.org/|
As I stated in yesterday's post, there are a few issues that I'd like to bring awareness to in the coming weeks. What follows is information about an issue that is of great importance to me and after you've read more about it, I believe that you'll understand why that is.
You may have noticed the link on my side-bar for the organization Share Our Strength (SOS). Well, this amazing organization is very dear to my heart and I'm always more than happy to spread the word about them and their incredible achievements whenever I get the opportunity. I received an email recently from Oscar winning actor, Jeff Bridges, who is the National spokesperson for SOS's No Kid Hungry (NKH) Campaign. In it, he speaks about NKH/SOS and their nation-wide campaign to enroll millions of qualified children across the country, in the summer breakfast/lunch programs that are already available in many of their cities and towns. I'd like to share a few excerpts from the email.
|Photo courtesy of Google Images|
"Kids should be kids. They ought to be going to the playground, or going to the pool. But instead, when school lets out for the summer, millions of kids will go hungry. In fact, there are 17 million low-income children who rely on school lunches but don't get free summer meals.
During the school year, these kids get most of their meals at school, but each summer millions of them go hungry. That’s where you come in. Your support today is critical to making sure we connect kids with meals this summer. Don’t forget that when you make a gift, it will matched dollar-by-dollar up to $25,000 by the Ansara Family Fund at the Boston Foundation — doubling the power of your gift. Together, we can expand our reach and connect more kids and families to resources and tools that will prevent them from starving.
There’s going to be a lot happening this summer, starting with a Summer Meals Road Trip that pulls out of the driveway on June 7. A few staff members from Share Our Strength will be visiting more than 25 sites across 9 states—highlighting local resources and partner organizations, drawing attention to childhood hunger, and working face-to-face in the community to connect hungry kids with summer meals programs in their areas. The team assures me they’ll keep you in the loop when the wheels start rolling. In the meantime, let’s make sure this matching donation goes as far as possible."
Jeff Bridges, for Share Our Strength
I've been aware for some time, of the multitude of children in the US who rely on free or reduced price breakfasts and/or lunches from fully funded programs during the school year, but I am ashamed to say that it never crossed my mind that these same children would likely go without what is probably their one and only nutritious daily meal, during the summer break. Even more shocking to me, was the fact that many of these children live in areas where there are already fully funded and established breakfast or lunch programs available to them during the summer, but are not enrolled in these programs simply because their families are not aware that they exist. SOS and NKH are on a mission to change all of that.
|Photo courtesy of http://mazon.org/|
I found this short video that helps to better explain what this seriously worth-while project is all about. I hope you'll take a few minutes to check it out.
I've never been one to discuss or debate politics or religion and I'm not about to start now, but frankly, this campaign is a completely non-partisan effort, backed by Democrats, Republicans and everyone in between. It isn't about which side of the aisle we agree or disagree with. It's about kids. Beautiful, bright, talented kids who are hungry and families who are struggling to put even one square meal a day on the table. Mr B and I are not wealthy by anyone's calculation, but we've been blessed with the ability and the resources to provide food, clothing and shelter for our family over the last 25+ years. I couldn't even begin to fathom what it must be like not having the resources to feed my children. I have a lump in my throat just writing this post.
I'd like to add a few last words from Billy Shore, Executive Director of SOS:
"Around the country, summer marks a critical time for the millions of children who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches every day. As Erica, a first grade teacher told us, “For most of our students, the meals that they receive at school…are the only food they receive all week.” When school is out, these children are less likely to have access to adequate nutritious food. And when they return to the classroom in the fall, they often have not received proper nutrition, making them less likely to retain any of the skills they had learned previously."
If you'd like to make a donation or find out about other ways that you can support Share Our Strength and No Kid Hungry, just click on the SOS badge on my sidebar and it will take you to their website. No child should go hungry anywhere in the world, and certainly not in our own cities and towns here in the US. So, Please... Take the pledge. Make a donation. Have a neighborhood bake sale. Spread the word. No effort is too small. You'll be doing so much more than feeding hungry bellies. You'll be feeding the hungry minds that will one day lead this great nation of ours.