The Power of Giving



Students from the ’09 Las Vegas Student Food Drive

By Susan Brockway

At Tyson Foods, we recently wrapped up our third year of sponsorship of the Student Food Drive.  For food banks and families at risk, it is now time to evaluate if this was a success or a program that did not meet expectations.  My job is to assemble the numbers, look at the investment, measure the outcomes and see if in fact this was a good investment of resources over the past three years. 
I would be the person grant writers hate. 
As I took calculator in one hand and pen in the other, my unbiased evaluation was tempered by one memorable experience:  A sixteen year old young woman came and talked to me in Las Vegas and told me a story about a family’s kids who had only one certain meal a day, and that was at school.  Often, the family split up at friends’ homes for dinner.  Most of the time everyone got something to hold them over until the next day. The family was hers.Yet this young woman brought in one case of canned fruit and said her contribution would help another family. My heart hurt for her, not out of sympathy but out of pride. Never underestimate the power of our children.  In the end, they understand more than their years. 
It was an honor to meet the hundreds of young people who will change how we look at hunger.  Support them on their journey.