Saturday, November 17, 2012

Give a Breakfast and Help Make "No Kid Hungry" a Reality

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? A bagel? Cereal? Did you go all out and make pancakes, eggs, or even (drool) bacon?

If you're like me, the answer might be: nothing.

Oh, now don't feel sorry for me. I'm just a busy mom and a morning runner with a lot of lame excuses why I don't eat the most important meal of the day. I can get away with it because I'm a healthy well-fed individual throughout the rest of the day. As a middle class mom with a full pantry, I do make sure that my kids never, ever leave the house without full bellies and packed lunches.

But there are a lot of children in our country who share my non-breakfast tradition by no choice of their own. They don't eat breakfast because there's no food to eat. Subsidized school lunch is the only sure meal they can count on. Sixteen million kids - that's 1 in 5 - in the U.S. struggle with hunger. Sixty-two percent of America's teachers see kids who come to school hungry because they don't get enough to eat. 

Take a look at this moving interview with Principle Sean McElhaney about the effects of hunger on his students. It helped me understand how the need to feed children in the morning goes so far beyond their comfort and physical development. It affects their performance on tests, attitude toward learning, and their entire outlook on life.

It's a daily downward spiral for a child to start the day at a low point and just go down from there. Chronic hunger has long-lasting negative effects. A child who doesn't eat enough isn't going to do well in school...and is likely to get sick more often...and will be less likely to graduate and go on to college, which will have a negative impact for an economic future...and if that happens, that child is much less likely to be able to earn enough to feed a family as a parent.

But, together, we can interrupt this cycle. Share Our Strength is an organization that works to ensure that every child in America has access to nutritious food where she or he lives, learns, and plays.

Please consider making a donation to Share Our Strength worth 10 or more breakfasts. For only $1, Share Our Strength can connect a child for 10 breakfasts. For $18 (a life-giving number for those of the Jewish faith, incidentally), that means 180 breakfasts! Imagine that. For less than twenty bucks, you can protect a child for over a whole semester from hunger pangs in the mornings. You can give a student a semester of better grades and higher self-esteem.

For more information about Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, visit their website at

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