“If you can't feed a hundred people, feed just one.”
This quote comes to mind as of recently because of the rising need for food for schoolchildren. Our local school district has a food backpack program so low income students have meals on the weekends. Yes, you heard that correctly. Sadly, kids aren't always getting fed on the weekends. Let me back up a bit:
As you may already know, many districts offer free breakfast and lunches to income qualifying families. (Proper nutrition equals better learning.) It would be reasonable to assume that these families also qualify for welfare, Medicaid, food stamps and/or WIC and are using them to their advantage. It is difficult to comprehend that even with government assistance, still children go hungry at home. In order to alleviate this, schools also provide food that is distributed discreetly into their backpacks. Before Christmas break, our school district asked for help replenishing their food bank with items like peanut butter, cereal, etc. I gathered a few extra items on my next grocery trip and dropped them off. I was astounded to learn that this food backpack program is serving over 100 children! Questions that popped into my head: With all the assistance they are already receiving, why aren't these kids getting fed? Is there even an adult around to prepare a meal for them? What is preventing these families from utilizing food banks already in place and relying on the schools? Whatever the answers may be, the bottom line is children are going hungry. Compassion doesn't come entirely natural to me, but this is really tugging on my heart strings. I've been bringing items every few weeks to the school district and plan to do so as our budget allows.
There are 100 needy kids. I felt as though the items I initially dropped off may only feed a single child. My donation was only serving a fraction of the need. Like Mother Teresa's quote: If I can't feed all, I can support one. I believe her message is that a seemingly small effort will make a big difference for another. I hope that holds true.