There is Still Magic Out There: Report from the Field in Texas

Reading the news can sometimes make you feel hopeless about the world. The truth is we may not hear about it, but there is so much good happening in the world and I truly believe there is magic out there.

In my role for No Kid Hungry, I have the privilege of going to the field to collect stories from the people providing meals for kids on the ground. My most recent trip to Texas made me proud of the work that we do and hopeful about the world.

We may not see it but together you and I are truly making a difference in people’s lives. Every donation, every share with your friends and family, every bit of support has made these stories possible.

Some of the things I witnessed:

I saw resilience: 

In San Antonio, a dad who sustained his family became seriously ill and disabled. His wife, a recent Mexican immigrant, who didn’t know how to drive or speak English had to become breadwinner overnight. They have three young kids, and it was hard and real, but school meals were there to help them get through. 

No Kid Hungry has supported San Antonio Independent School District’s efforts to serve three meals every day and to deliver meals during the summer and school closures.

In what was considered a miracle, the dad started recovering, and today, the family is full of gratitude and strength to keep going. The tough times are not behind, but the meals will continue helping their kids dream of a better future. 

I saw the biggest heart:

Everybody in the community loves Mr. Bobby. He was a great support for this family going through health and economic challenges. 

He does everything for “his” kids, delivering meals but also showing love, care and showing up in difficult moments with gifts and happiness. 

I heard about Mr. Bobby’s singing abilities, so I asked him to sing in front of the camera for his kids, but I didn’t expect his powerful soulful voice. It was an electric moment of him singing a religious song (everybody in the room was in tears). Behind there was so much love, care and hope for the kids.

I saw the strength of kids:

In Austin, No Kid Hungry supports the Central Texas Foodbank’s summer feeding and backpack programs for kids. This summer we also hired a youth ambassador, who supports the work of the foodbank and teaches kids about healthy eating.

In a learning center that also serves as a summer meals site for the foodbank, I met a 10-year old who told me how he was going through stuff at home. He didn’t go into details, but I understood that things just weren't easy for him.

He said that the summer learning center was a place to be himself and work through and understand his emotions. He was so mature and cute! He experienced challenges that I cannot imagine, but he was strong and getting the support he needed. And most importantly, he was getting the meals he needed to be his best self. 

I saw the joy of summer meals: 

In that same learning center, I saw happy kids learning, being silly, asking about the streamers who support No Kid Hungry and just being kids. Like that 10-year old, they had the energy to keep learning, growing and just being kids. 

I saw the people that make this joy possible: 

The manager at the learning center was an Ethiopian immigrant, Sami, who has infused his students with kindness, joy and emotional intelligence. He was in tears when asked about the kids because they had gone through so much and still showed up to learning center with a smile every day.

Doron, our youth ambassador, was a ray of sunshine. She was kind, thoughtful and was teaching kids about how to be healthy with the meals they can access every day. She made a point of learning words in Pashto and Spanish to ensure every kid was included.

There’re so many heroes out there. And so many more that I didn’t even see behind the scenes doing everything so kids have the meals they need. Truly magic!

I’m so grateful to everybody who makes these stories possible.

You too can help us spread smiles and ensure every kid in the US has the food they need to thrive. Learn how you can help.

Donate: Just $10 can help provide up to 100 meals for hungry kids. No Kid Hungry works with schools, community organizations and local leaders across the country to connect kids to the food they need.