Hunger. It is not only a problem in third-world countries, but all around us. In our own community, schools, and neighborhood we have adults and children who are not sure when or from where their next meal will come. Because of this need, we started to look at the students at our local K-5 grade school.
During the week, many of these students are part of the subsidized school breakfast and lunch program. The problem that we started to see is that these same children do not get that nourishment over the weekend. Since the children are going hungry and not eating correctly on the weekend, they are not prepared to learn when they return to school on Monday.
In their October 12, 2015 article, the Food Effect Online Network reports that: “Inadequate nutrition is linked to delayed brain development and an impaired ability to learn. In addition, hunger and lack of nutrition result in reduced academic achievement, test scores are lower, absenteeism is higher, and there are more grade repeats.”
If we eliminate child hunger in our community, we better equip our children to succeed in school and go on to better themselves and society.
Food for Hope is an outreach program which Faith Community Reformed Church is sponsoring as one part of a growing partnership with our neighborhood elementary school. Currently, 70% of the students at the school qualify for free lunches due to their family’s economic situation.
Food for Hope strives to bring awareness of, and eliminate, child hunger in our community of Stickney, Illinois. Our mission is to provide free and easy-to-prepare meals and snacks to school children on the weekends, in an effort to ensure that the children on the free lunch program of our local public grade school have access to nutritious food on the days when they are not in school. Our team of volunteers will distribute backpacks with non-perishable food to eligible school students on the last day of the school week (usually Friday). It is the goal of Food for Hope to give every student the same opportunity to succeed, by ensuring that they have nutritional meals on the weekend so that their minds are ready for the school week ahead.
This is a volunteer only outreach and funded locally by members of the community. For this outreach to be successful and self-sustaining, we invite individuals, community organizations, and business to partner with us by providing monetary donations to fund the food purchases and by partnering with grocery stores/manufactures to supply the food.
If you wish to join our team and make a financial gift towards helping alleviate childhood hunger, please click here.