Think back to when you were about 10 years old. Now imagine August that year. Were you starting to get a little bored with summer? Were you starting to feel like it might be fun to get back into the school year?
I remember my mother started gathering up school supplies for us kids around this time each year. New pencils. New notebooks. And new shoes!
My mom, a nurse, worked at the hospital just a couple of blocks from the grade school. At lunchtime, sometimes my little brother and I would walk to the hospital and have lunch with her in the cafeteria. But most of the time we ate with our classmates in the basement lunchroom.
Daniel Webster Elementary School didn’t have a kitchen, so we all brought our lunches in cheerful little metal boxes with matching thermos bottles inside. I don’t remember any of my lunchboxes – probably because I was so dazzled by the coolness of my buddy’s Beatles lunchbox. (I just found that very same light blue Beatles lunchbox listed on Ebay for more than $1,000!)
How about you?
What did you do for lunch when you were in grade school?
In my little crowd, we were fortunate, though it didn’t occur to us at the time. We had plenty to eat (even if we didn’t always like it – green beans? Again?), cute little lunchboxes to carry it in, and new shoes when we needed them. I suppose we imagined that other kids had pretty much the same things, if we thought about it at all.
Now, so many years later, I know different. Millions of children depend on their schools for their meals, at least part of the time. One in five children in the United States isn’t sure where their next meal is coming from. One in five! In America! The first time I read that statistic, I was horrified. I still am. It’s an article of faith for me that no child in this country, no matter where, no matter who, no matter why, no child in my country should go hungry. Do you agree?
People like you and me work together to make a difference for kids who don’t have enough to eat. We come together to fill backpacks with a weekend’s worth of nutritious meals for kids. We organize food drives for our food banks and food pantries. We ask our friends and families not to give us birthday presents, but to give to the local food pantry. We write to our representatives and advocate for better services for kids who are hungry.
What do you and the other women in your congregation do for hungry kids?
Women of the ELCA is committed to fighting hunger, and one of the most effective ways we can do that is by supporting ELCA World Hunger. And the best way to support ELCA World Hunger is by giving through Women of the ELCA.
I hope you and the women of your congregation will make a point of working to make sure kids in your town have enough to eat. And I hope you and the women of your congregation will make another point of supporting ELCA World Hunger by giving through Women of the ELCA. See how to give below.
Audrey Riley is director for stewardship for Women of the ELCA.