Thursday, October 8, 2009

child hunger

and I don't mean in third world countries.............. I mean right here in the good ole USA.........right here in my neighborhood and yours!

Did you know?

* over 50% of children in grades K-5 are on free or reduced lunch?

* in 2006 the poverty rate for minors in the USA was the highest in the industrialized world, with 21.9% of all minors living below the poverty level

* the USDA reported in 2007 that 36.2 million people lived in household considered to be food insecure, of which 12.4 million are children.

* the ten states with the highest food insecurity were Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Maine, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri

* food insecurity is the inability to access food in a consistent manner, may require emergency food assistance, but try to have enough to feed the children. Adults in food insecure households may skip meals.

*the max monthly food stamp benefit in 2004 for a family of four was $471 or $1.31 per person per meal.

Want to know more? check out these sites:

What can you do to help?

Across the country, organizations and individuals are banning together to feed these children who, on the weekends, aren't guaranteed a meal. Our Baptist Association started a program called Sacks of Love where churches adopt schools. Each school identified the neediest students (meaning those less likely to have any food in the home on the weekends). The churches then provide a "sack of food" for each student. Our church, along with one other, supplements 14 children over a weekend.

For about $4.25 a week, we send home:
2 protiens (like vienna sausage and beanie weanies), 1 pasta (like spaghettios), 1 pkg. crackers, 2 breakfast items (like cereal and oatmeal), 2 non-refrigerated milks, 2 juice boxes, 1 dessert type item (like pkg. cookies), 1 granola bar, 1 fruit, 1 pkg. nuts or trail mix, 1 pkg. fruit snacks, 1 pudding, and probably something I am forgetting.

We deliver these sacks to the schools and they distribute them to the students at the end of the day on Fridays. There is another program called Backpacks of Blessings (where the above statistics came from) who serves children in a number of different states.

I would encourage you to get involved. Some of these children do not have electricity or running water in their homes, and they could be living in your neighborhood. Talk to your church, help a child through backpacks of blessings, help a child through our church, talk to your co-workers, talk to your child's school about this need. If you are reading this blog, you can help! Start small, start big, just make a difference.............honestly, if your child was hungry wouldn't you hope that someone would be willing to give up the cost of 1/2 of a fast food meal to help feed him? I sure would!

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