Saturday, June 4, 2011

Put Feet to Their Faith and Help Provide Lunches for Children in the Summer!

All this month I'm encouraging churches to "Put Feet to Their Faith" and involve their children in food drives and projects to raise money for food to give to a local food pantry. In every community across this country - and around the world - there are children and families who are hungry. We can help! We can do something tangible which makes a real difference in the lives of others! Consider some of these opportunities to get involved and help hungry children in your community -

  • In 2009 the National School Lunch program provided free or low-cost lunches to more than 31 million school children in the United States of America each school day. Many of these children would not have been able to have lunch without this program. Today in 2011 I suspect this number is even higher with the increased number of parents who are unemployed or underemployed. So, what do these children do during summer break when they are not at school? The US Department of Agriculture has a Summer Food Service Program which feeds hungry children over the summer and your church could get involved as a feeding site for the children in your community. 
  • Feeding America became involved in feeding hungry children when school is not in session through their BackPack Program. "There are children in America that rely on resources such as free or reduced-priced school lunch, during the school year. The BackPack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations. The BackPack Program concept was developed at the Arkansas Rice Depot, after a school nurse asked for help because hungry students were coming to her with stomachaches and dizziness. The local food bank began to provide the school children with groceries in non-descript backpacks to carry home. In addition to providing nutritious food to school children in need, some BackPack Programs provide extra food for younger siblings at home."
  • Feeding America also has a program called Kid's Cafe; "Kids Cafe programs provide free meals and snacks to low-income children through a variety of community locations where children already congregate—such as Boys & Girls Clubs, churches or public schools. In addition to providing meals to kids, all Kids Cafe programs also offer a safe place, where under the supervision of trustworthy staff, a child can get involved in educational, recreational and social activities."
These are just a couple possibilities for how you could get involved and help the children in your community who are hungry in the summer when school is out. Check this link for 101 Ways You Can Feed the Hungry and Help the Poor for some additional ideas and/or check with your local school to see what is currently being offered and how you can get involved!

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