The USDA defines food insecurity as meaning “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” Food insecurity occurs in every county in the United States. Hunger touches the lives of 15.8 million children.
40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans. (National Resource Defense Council)
3 out of 4 teachers see hungry children in their classrooms. (No Kid Hungry)
We should not have these statistics in our country.
This past Friday, Jodi Baron and I were able to visit a local organization that addresses food insecurity for kids. It is local to the West Michigan area, and we will be doing a service play group focused on them in December!
In Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Holland Kids’ Food Basket serves 7,000 kids at 38 schools. They send home sack suppers with kids that opt-in, providing nutritious meals for students after the school day is done.
In Ottawa County over 8,000 children live in poverty. At Holland Public Schools 400 families are homeless, and 70% quality for free and reduced lunch. In Holland, 600 kids at Holland Heights K-7 and Woodside Elementary are being given sack suppers through Kids’ Food Basket. Six schools remain on the waiting list to be served by Kids’ Food Basket.
How can you help?
- Sign up to volunteer here. Volunteers are needed for sandwich making, delivering sack suppers, and repacking snacks into mixes like cheerios, raisins, and goldfish. They allow families (kids five and up) to volunteer together. It would be a great way for youth groups to serve together. Groups can also decorate sack lunch bags!
- To add schools and help them off the waiting list, three years of funds must be raised. Click here to host a fundraiser or a wish list drive.
- Share this organization! You can follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Also, tell others about this way to serve, to ensure that children in our community do not go to bed hungry.