5 “Back to School” tips for the community
August 23, 2010 § 1 Comment
Today, children are enjoying a free- or reduced-price lunch in their school’s lunchroom, and many of our clients with children are relieved.
With fresh crayons, new pens and book bags in tow, the first day of school for Central Texas children marks the beginning of new things to learn, and opportunities for emotional and physical growth. But the story doesn’t end there.
Some low-income children are fortunate to have programs like Kids Cafe which provides a safe, nurturing place where neighborhood children can go after school and receive a hot dinner, as well as help with homework from caring individuals, or CHOICES “Kids in the Kitchen” which teaches children how to prepare simple, healthy dishes and snack foods.
Still, many boys and girls live in communities, especially in rural areas, without after-school programs, and where fresh, healthy food is not easily available. They may be coming home to a less than stocked pantry, and need to care and prepare a meal for their younger siblings while their parents are still at work. These children face the temptation for making poor nutritional choices, among other temptations.
Help support a hunger for learning, not a hunger for food this school year with these five tips:
- Build upon what works. Support programs that help families in need. Maybe it’s volunteering as a CHOICES assistant, or donating to the Food Bank. There are many ways you can help. Click here for a list of opportunities.
- Put hunger first. The Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill provides funding for school breakfast, lunch and other vital child nutrition programs. Call your elected officials and tell them that on the first day of school, they need to put hunger issues first.
- Support good choices. The Food Bank, more than 350 Partner Agencies in Central Texas, and SNAP (food stamps) supports families with food resources so they can make better choices at mealtime. Spread the word and encourage your community to use these resources. After all, a well-fed community is a healthy community.
- Make nutrition top priority. The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is just a few days away and your food donation will be stocked in a family’s pantry, and will help nourish them. Please donate healthy, non-perishable food items. Here’s a list of most-needed items.
- Bring hunger issues into your networks. Share your knowledge about the hunger crisis in Central Texas with your colleagues, congregation, professional group and friends. Remember, September is Hunger Action Month. Stay tuned for some great tips on the little things you can do daily that will make a big impact in your community.