With the coronavirus closing classrooms coast to coast, many kids in need are going without the school meals they depend on. For many, it’s the only healthy food they might get in a given day. That we we need you help!
Thanks to your support, we’re sending emergency grants to schools and community organizations who are rallying to feed these kids.
Texas’ Hitchcock Independent School District has feeding sites throughout the community where children can pick up free food, but they’re using our grant funds to help deliver sack lunch meals from their school buses to more than 1,740 high-needs children who are struggling with hunger now more than ever.
Douglas Hoffman, the district’s director of dining services, shared with us what it’s like to try to feed kids during this crisis.
What’s the situation for hungry kids in your community as a result of the coronavirus?
Hoffman: Our children, especially those with the most critical food insecurities, face too many challenges. Illness is always one of them, but this is different. The coronavirus has shut down schools, and among the many important things that schools provide, one of them is a stable, reliable source of meals. Now that is gone.
What challenges are children in need facing with food in your community?
Hoffman: The biggest challenge is getting the meals. Many, if not most, of our students have limited means to get to feeding sites. The sites must be more mobile and at least get into their neighborhoods. This, of course, raises the cost of getting them the meals.
With limited funds available to a smaller, more economically challenged school district like us, this is a hurdle we must overcome daily. The funding from No Kid Hungry will help offset that cost.
Has an interaction with a child or family in particular that you’re feeding moved you?
Hoffman: Every interaction moves both me and the team. With all that’s going on, everyone needs to see the amazing impact a simple sack lunch has on a hungry child. It brings a smile, and it brings hope.
Why do people need to help feed kids while schools are closed during this crisis?
Hoffman: We talk about our future. The children ARE our future. Invest in that future. Things are looking tough right now, but just help us all feed the children. We all will get through this.
What makes you hopeful about the impact you’ve been able to have so far?
Hoffman: One meal. One smile. One moment of hope. Multiply that by a thousand, and you have a plan. Multiply that by a hundred thousand, and you have a program. Multiply that by a million, and you have a solution.
What else do people need to know about the situation that kids in your community are facing?
Hoffman: Imagine being afraid that you, your parents, guardians, siblings or others close to you might get very sick. Now, worry about when you’re going to eat next. We need solutions now. We need all the help that is possible – now.
You can support what programs like Douglas’ are doing to feed children in communities across the country during this crisis. These kids need you now more than ever.