We’re lucky. We know we are. When we want something to eat, the question isn’t can we eat, but what do we want to eat. We have choices, and they’re relatively unlimited. Unfortunately, there are so many people in the US and in my own community who aren’t nearly so lucky. 10% of children in the US live in homes that are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from or when it will be. There are no three squares there.
There are so many programs out there to help, but my current favorite is Champions for Kids. Knowing that many children go from having breakfast and lunch provided at school to little food in the home, they are running a Summer of Giving campaign to help alleviate the summertime crisis. From now until July 7, when you visit your local Walmart and purchase products from the program’s sponsors Tyson, Bird’s Eye, and State Fair, you help feed children in your community. It’s such an easy way to help. We buy frozen vegetables and chicken all the time, so why not make sure that the dollars of our purchase will be directed in a way to help someone else? The goal for the Summer of giving is to be able to provide 5 million meals, which is a whole lot of full bellies.
I brought the wee ones with me, and after I explained what we were doing, they got extremely excited. In fact, they wanted to buy even more frozen food so that we could donate it to local food pantries, which also have a hard time in summer when they receive fewer donations and have greater demand. I explained that we couldn’t donate frozen food because it wouldn’t be yummy still once we got it to a donation site. They were excited to purchase items for us to help out, but they wanted to do more.
After thinking for awhile, they decided that they wanted to make sure that kids were able to eat healthy foods just like they were. We talk all the time about how important it is to eat our fruits and veggies, and their school reinforces that with a healthy snack policy. They marched me down to that aisle in Walmart and proceeded to explain what they wanted to buy. Not what they wanted me to buy, but what they wanted to buy. They wanted to raid their piggy banks to help buy food to donated to a shelter in support of the Summer of Giving program.
Who am I to say no?
They were thrilled when I let them pick out exactly what they wanted to purchase to donate, and I offered to split the cost with them 50/50. I was really moved that they refused and insisted that they wanted to pay for it entirely themselves. Shhh, don’t tell them, but I’ll be heading back to Walmart without them to pick up some extra items to donate. Apparently, I’m doing something right.
In fact, now they want to get together with their friends to have a donation party. We did this before where we had a movie night where they both got to invite friends to come over, with the only request that they bring a donation as a contribution to the evening. We are right in the middle of moving at the moment, but I figure a party like this will be a great way to have a housewarming party for their friends. Once we know we’ll have things unpacked to a reasonable degree, I will be sending out the invitations, and I can’t wait to see the response! The last time we did this we had four large bags of food that our friends brought. Their generosity never fails to astound me.
I may not be able to solve all the problems, but that isn’t the point. I’m doing my part – and even a small contribution can make a difference. That’s the entire point behind Champions for Kids.
Champions for Kids is also looking to reward you for hosting SIMPLE projects like this. With five simple steps, you can enter your local school or community organization win $25,000. I can only imagine what we could do with that! So what kind of a SIMPLE service project could you complete? I know how we’re hosting ours!