If you are one who keeps up with the latest on what is happening in our area with the food banks, you have probably heard the term they are using lately: “food insecurity.” The verbiage change came, more than likely, because we were stuck in a mindset of the word, ‘hungry’ being synonymous with the word, ‘homeless.’ The powers that be decided a new campaign was needed to wake people up about the myriads of children, living in our same neighborhoods, and going to school with our own children every day—thus looking like everyone else—who were often receiving only the breakfast and lunch that the public school offers every day.
The campaign worked. Some programs were created that sent children home with backpacks of food for the weekends. And, during the summer, nonprofits are driving busses into certain neighborhoods with bag lunches for anyone who would like them.
The point is: we were realizing that hungry children can look exactly like all the other children who get three square meals a day, and something had to be done about it. Coining the term, “food insecurity” (my opinion) was an effort to wake people up to see “hungry” very differently.
Please hear my heart on this (because often times my words will mess things up). How many families eat together at the dinner table every night? How many families actually have gardens in their yard to combat the high prices of fresh vegetables at the grocery store? Other than knowing and following Jesus, I really believe that education is the way out of many challenges (even dysfunction, poverty, and dependence). It takes all of us to work together to combat food insecurity.
At Greater Things, the children will have an opportunity to plant, take care of, and harvest a garden (my grandson didn’t start eating carrots until he grew them himself in his own garden!), participate in cooking classes, where they can actually learn how to prepare meals with what they harvest, and learn how proper nutrition is imperative to our bodies, as we live out 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.
Educating children how to be resourceful with food can go a long way toward mitigating food insecurity. We, at Greater Things after-school program, are up for the challenge and would love your help if you would like to plant, work, and harvest right along with us! To God be the glory!
(Next week, I will talk about the other possible enrichment activities that the children in Greater Things after-school program are offered, and how enrichment works toward academic success!)