Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Will They Eat?

According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Texas schools serve 2.9 million meals a day.   For many children in Texas, those meals they get in school are about the only nourishment of any value they get all day.

As summer is upon us, schools are in recess, but kids still need to eat.  For most of us this isn't a concern.  We dine on a feast of varied foods every day that some people could only dream of.  The dark fact is that many of those who are hungry are right here in our own city and state.  We are just too cocooned in our affluence to see the problem.

AmeriCorps the volunteer organization is teaming with Central Dallas Ministries "Move Summer Feeding Initiative" to provide 500,000 nutritious meals for children in the next 3 months.  That is a wonderful idea, but sadly it is a drop in the bucket.  

My church, Cathedral of Hope, provides breakfast every Saturday to anyone in the neighborhood who is hungry.  We serve hundreds of meals with no strings attached and yet there are still hungry children who need food on the other 6 days of the week.  

Another opportunity is the Summer Food Program from the FDA.   Individuals and companies can volunteer and donate to keep the lunch and breakfast programs going throughout the summer. The main problem with all these programs from what I have seen is their accessibility.  The web site for the FDA is bewildering and has no clear call to action, but if you are resolute you can thread your way to the key information.

I sincerely believe it is time to urge our local, state and national  officials to do something to alleviate this problem.  A full-year school calendar might be a solution. It keeps kids fed and it keeps the knowledge in their heads fresh.  Sounds like a win-win to me.


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