This is the second week we’re taking Friday to remind people there are kids who go hungry on the weekend. David Proctor, director of communications for the Idaho Food Bank sent this in after our call for your stories last week.
Too often low-income children depend on school breakfast and lunch programs to eat during the week and then must fend for themselves during the lean weekends. The Idaho Foodbank’s BackPack Program distributes backpacks filled with food to children in need every Friday so they, and their families, will have some nourishment on Saturdays and Sundays.
This story came to us from a teacher in Wilder, where we recently inaugurated a BackPack Program. Names have been withheld to protect the child’s privacy.
He was a little guy, the number-one child on the teacher’s priority list of kids she knew needed food assistance. The teacher took him aside and explained that she had something for him, and then showed him the backpack full of food.
He looked as if he had won the lottery. "I get to have all this food? It’s for me? I get to eat this weekend?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, "but remember to bring the backpack back on Monday."
He was crestfallen and confused. "I have to bring it all back on Monday?"
"No," she explained. "We’re going to fill it up again and you can take it home again next Friday."
"I get to eat every weekend?" he asked, his eyes as big as plates.
"Yes," she told him. "Every weekend."
"My mom’s gonna cry," he said.
The next Monday the boy was the first one back to school, backpack in hand, and asked how many days it would be until he could have more.
"It was incredible. I never felt more like a fairy godmother delivering gold to these kids," the teacher told us. "I loved it."
We need more stories or testimony to illustrate this point. Comment here or email me.