Blessed are those who share their good fortune with those in need.
Hunger is a public health issue that affects all of us.
Kansas has 7th highest percentage in the country of residents cutting back on food (quantity & quality), or skipping meals entirely. In Butler County, 1 out of 5 children are living with food insecurity.
Children need nutritious meals for the healthy development of their bodies, brains and behavior. Hunger interferes with a child’s ability to behave and learn, and can permanently affect a child’s brain. Over 77% of students in local schools receive free/reduced rate lunches during school year (approximately 1200 kids in USD 490).
If we help children and their families access adequate nutritious foods, they can develop into the successful adults that we need them to be.
Why so many hungry children in our community?
Nearly a third of working families earn wages too low to pay for basic necessities. Many households live one crisis away from poverty -- the death or disability of a primary wage earner, a job loss or cut in work hours, wages garnished for medical bills after a serious illness. Sometimes parental ignorance or neglect.
I was once a "welfare mother" for a short time while in graduate school. Nobody is immune from needing help during difficult spells in their life.
What You Can Do: 10 Suggestions
1. Support the Community Meal Ministries that serve free dinners in El Dorado, Monday - Fridays. Donate food or help prepare and serve a community dinner at the Family Worship Center -- either one time or more often. You can also donate food or volunteer at a free community meal site on Saturdays. For details: click here.
2. Volunteer with or donate to the 12 Baskets program in El Dorado. For twenty years it has been distributing free food boxes to low income families on the second Saturday of the month. Volunteers are needed from 9am - noon once a month. For details, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To check out its Facebook page: CLICK HERE.
3. Organize a food drive in your church, neighborhood, social group, or workplace to donate food and money to the Food Pantry at the Salvation Army of El Dorado. For details, contact Capt. Katie Pinkston at: email@example.com, 316-321-4070.
4. Help college students living with food insecurity, some of whom are parents, by donating food and money to food pantries on the Butler Community College campus in Andover and El Dorado. For more information, contact the BCC Service Learning Center: 316-323-6877, firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Support El Dorado LunchBox: Summer Meals for Kids by making donations to pay for the food, volunteering to distribute lunches, or agreeing to be a sponsor. More information is on the Kids Need To Eat website: kidsneedtoeat.org.
6. Hunters can donate any legally harvested deer or elk to meat processors that participate in Kansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry. More information is on its website: kshfh.org.
7. Volunteer your time or money to help Numana Gardens grow fresh produce in its community gardens in El Dorado -- for distribution to those in need through local food banks and other food distribution programs. Donate $500 and you will receive a weekly box of produce, fresh from the garden beginning July 1. For details, visit the Numana, Inc. website, or CLICK HERE.
8. Volunteer a few hours of your time for a Numana, Inc. meal packing event. Numana is an El Dorado-based organization that empowers people to save the starving around the world through hands-on meal packaging events. Dates and locations are on its website: numanainc.com
9. Watch the documentary film A Place At the Table and then go to the Take Part website to learn more, including ways you can make a difference: takepart.com/place-at-the-table.
10. If you belong to a campus or community organization, church, social group, or club, sponsor a hunger awareness event. There are websites with suggestions for these events (see the Resources below) and organizations mentioned in this list might be willing to assist.
Email me at email@example.com If you have any questions, or have suggestions to add to this list.
Helping to end hunger -- that's a community that cares!
Ending Hunger Resources
• A Place at the Table: One Nation, Under Fed: takepart.com/place-at-the-table
• End Hunger: Bringing Americans Together to End Childhood Hunger in the United States: endhunger.com
• Kids Need To Eat, Inc.: kidsneedtoeat.org.
• No Kid Hungry, No Kid Hungry campaign: nokidhungry.org
• Numana, Inc. www.numanainc.com
• Stop Hunger Now: stophungernow.org.