By Rev. John Moeller
Hunger is not a problem most of us closely associate with the United States, judged around the world as the “land of plenty.” Few of us know what it’s like to put children to bed hungry or undernourished, and few know the feelings of defeat and hopelessness that come with being unable to provide all of our children’s basic needs. But many of our north Georgia neighbors do know!
Hunger is a battle they fight daily.
The impact of hunger, especially on children, is serious and often long-lasting. The immature immune systems of young children make them especially vulnerable to nutritional deprivation, resulting in deficits in the ability to learn, grow and fight infections. Sadly, hunger can also make our children more vulnerable to predators. (Read Smart Lunch, Smart Kid’s e-newsletter this month for an article about its partner, Street Grace, and their efforts to protect Georgia’s kids).
The effect of hunger on academic development is well recognized by public schools, which offer government-funded free and reduced-price meals at school, programs that are utilized by 800,000 children in our state.
What happens, however, when school is out for the summer?
The USDA offers summer feeding programs to fill in the gap, but families often must travel to designated distribution sites to get the food. Action Ministries, through Smart Lunch, Smart Kid, delivers lunches and enrichment activities to children in their neighborhoods, ensuring that transportation is not a barrier. Last summer, our donors and volunteers delivered 210,000+ lunches to Georgia’s kids, the goal again for 2014.
We’re preparing to kick off this great program once again on June 4!
And we need you! We need donations (just $5 feeds a kid for two days!), volunteers and hunger relief partners. You can make a huge difference in the life of a child this summer.
The fight to Erase Hunger in Georgia this summer: Can we count you in?
Visit http://actionministries.net to donate and volunteer.