It is summer vacation at our house and I couldn't be happier to have my girls home from school for the next few months. Not only do I enjoy their company and the knack they have for making ordinary days so much more fun (anyone want to play pirate ship?), but they are also a lot of help with a newborn in the house. I have three self-proclaimed "helpers" who are expert diaper fetchers, professional blanket finders, and they sing a pretty sweet lullaby when needed too.
The flip side of this familial bliss picture is that these kids of mine definitely know how to work up an appetite. I can't even count on two hands how many times today I have heard "Mom, I'm hungry," and the day isn't even over yet.
Though I am sometimes tempted to give in to frustration as I log yet another hour in the kitchen preparing meals and snacks, mostly I am just grateful that I have food, that I am able to nourish my kids and give them the security of knowing that their most basic needs will always be met.
Today, my heart goes out to all of the parents who are hearing their children's cries for hunger but are unable to provide even the most basic of lunch. When children are out of school for the summer, nearly 90 percent have limited or no access to the free or reduced price meals they receive at school during the school year. This means that children may be at even greater risk for hunger during the summer months.
Kids are going hungry in our own neighborhoods and communities. In my community here in New Mexico, free lunch programs are available at many of our local parks and community centers. I have seen firsthand how providing lunch for kids makes a difference, which is why I am so happy to be able to spread the word about the Hunger Free Summer Initiative. Kids can't be kids when they are hungry.
The ConAgra Food Foundation (a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity which has a $10 million, five year commitment to Feeding America) has partnered with Feeding America in a Hunger Free Summer initiative and has supported the delivery of 3.8 million meals to children struggling with hunger over the summer. This summer, 26 food banks in 18 states will use Hunger-Free Summer grants, funded by the ConAgra Food Foundation, to bring more meals to more kids.
There are a lot of ways to get involved and help work towards a Hunger Free Summer for kids. The first is simple: View, Like, or share Kid President's new video to raise awareness for kids who are at risk of hunger this summer. Every time you take one of these actions, the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to the nation's leading hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, up to two million meals.
Secondly, educate yourself and your family. Learn more about the issue of child hunger by visiting Child Hunger Ends Here.
Last, find a way to involve your family. My kids were surprised and saddened to learn that there are kids in our very own community that are hungry and need help, but they were really excited about getting involved. We'll have more to share about our own Summer Family Service Project later this month, but for now check out Feeding America to find volunteer opportunities at your own local food bank.
For every view, like or share of this Kid President video recorded on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ from May 22, 2014 through July 31, 2014, the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate 11.1 cents, the cost for Feeding America to provide one meal through its network of local food banks. Minimum donation of 10,000 meals ($11,111). Maximum donation of two million meals ($222,000). Valid in U.S. only.
This post is sponsored by The Motherhood, Feeding America, and the ConAgra Foods Foundation, but all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I am excited to be able to participate in a Hunger Free Summer!