In today’s world it’s challenging to feel hopeful. But in classrooms and school cafeterias not far from where you live, there is so much magic happening. All you have to do is step into a room full of kids. You will experience innocence, wonder and a sense that this world can be better. This holiday season, you can be part of this - and invest in the magic of today and tomorrow.
This was exactly what I felt visiting Hutchins Elementary in South San Antonio ISD in Texas. In my role working for the No Kid Hungry campaign, I have the privilege of visiting the communities we support and seeing firsthand the impact of the support from our donors.
I met so many great kids. In Ms. Guzmans fourth grade, I met Aya, a future marine veterinarian; Logan, a future tattoo artist and football star; and Andy, who dreams of being a scientist. It was a room full of smiles, hope and joy.
With your support, the school has been able to provide breakfast in the classroom, an important program where kids get to eat breakfast after the bell. This program has increased the number of kids eating breakfast from 65% to 90% in the South San Antonio ISD school district.
It may seem small, but the program is crucial. Recent numbers show that 1 in 5 kids in the United States lives with hunger, so having almost all kids in a school district receiving free breakfast is incredibly important.
The kids said it themselves.
“Food is the most important school supply because it keeps us active and energized, helps our day so we're not grumpy,” shared Aya.
Logan said: “When I have breakfast, I feel energetic, but when I don’t, my body doesn’t work the same way.” He understands that a meal is more than sustenance; it's a prerequisite for potential.
Behind all the smiles, there was the work of committed individuals. The cafeteria staff who start the day early in the morning to prepare the meals of hundreds of kids. The teachers who witness the importance of meals in the classroom. They know that when students eat they will be focused and ready to learn. And leaders like Charles Garcia, the assistant principal at the school; Debra Rice, the child nutrition services director; and Henry Yzaguirre, the district superintendent, are making the right decisions so kids have access to the meals they need.
Support That Makes a Difference
Childhood hunger is a problem we know how to solve. There are people in schools and community organizations that know exactly what to do. All they need is our support.
As the holidays approach, I worry because I know this time of celebration is a time of uncertainty for millions of kids. Many of the meals kids receive in school disappear. But together, we can make a difference - and ensure that all kids get three meals a day, 365 days of the year. Let’s continue fueling the joy of kids near us.
Ways You Can Help
Donate: 1 dollar can help provide 10 meals for kids in need. Your support will help us fund meal programs all over the country and help us advocate for policies that will help kids get the meals they need.
Speak up for kids: 1 in 5 kids in the United States is affected by hunger. Tell your lawmaker to protect SNAP and other federal nutrition programs that feed kids.