Monday, December 7, 2009

In this Community of Plenty


I live in a nice community in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. I heard today that the poorest of our poor are still in the top ten percent in the world for privilege. I thought, how lucky we are, how fortunate to live here, in this land of plenty.

Then I went to the school council meeting. I volunteered at the last meeting to see if we could find enough volunteers to implement a nutritional snack program. It would be entirely funded by a special program of the county, be universal for all children regardless of need and would provide a snack daily from each of the three main food groups, vegetable or fruit, protein, and Carbohydrate. They all have to be fresh and have strict nutritional guidelines. After a month of promotion, a story in the local community newspaper(Thank you Tavistock Gazette!) this community stepped up! We have the volunteers and the go ahead to start the program in January.

Then I came home and mentioned to my daughter about this program. I had gotten an idea of the need of some of the children and was curious as to if there was any child in her class without food. She proceeded to tell me that there is a child who comes to school every day with little or no food. In an abstract way I knew this happens but to know, concretely, in this wonderful town of plenty, that this child and likely her siblings are hungry breaks my heart. I worked hard to hold back the tears until my children were asleep. My daughter also said "If they didn't have the no sharing of food policy I would give her some of my lunch." How difficult for other children to watch and to have a rule that prevents them from sharing. I understand the dangers of food allergies but this is hunger. I'm brainstorming ways to help this child that doesn't interfere with her dignity, or her privacy. Sometimes the rules that protect us are frustrating in how they also limit us.

Now that I do know, what do I do? First I emailed some people, then I came on here to blog. Now I wait for some answers. This nutritional program doesn't start until January. That's a long time and this is urgent.

The fact is though, that in this community of plenty this should not ever happen. In this community that jumped in to help with the nutritional program, this will no longer happen. We are going to fix this and see that it doesn't happen again. In this community of plenty, children shouldn't ever go hungry.

But unfortunately they still do. I heard Justin Trudeau speak once for two hours and I remember one sentence stood out to me, though his entire message was inspiring.

He said "Life isn't fair" then he paused for a moment and said "but it ought to be."

In this community of plenty "It really ought to be."



Breeze Talks About Weight Loss

7 comments:

Clandestiny said...

Oh Breeze, bless you so much for caring! It really is awful knowing that there are hungry children out there. It makes me so sad and honestly angry because you're so right! There's no reason for any child to be hungry in this land of luxury!!

I really, really wish I could tell you how to help this girl! Maybe a quiet little talk with the school's principal or counselor? I'd be afraid they'd single her out somehow or call authorities though. Maybe you could just not mention her name? Your daughter is such a sweet soul too, wishing she could share! Is she willing to befriend this child so that you could somehow get closer to her to help better? Grrrr!! It's maddening that anyone should have to sneak around like that just to help a hungry little girl!!! Please let me know how things go with this? :)

Breeze said...

The right people are NOW aware...let's hope they do something that feeds the child and preserves the dignity of the family. We've invited her for a playdate. She often has friends over but this fall with the flu and the rest of the virus going around we've not been able to. We're gonna start now! I sent a note this morning inviting her over this week.

Kerry said...

That is just so sad. Your right. A child in that environment having no food, well that is more than tragic.

The world needs more people like you, who will make a stand for those not so fortunate in life.

The innocence of a child should never be taken away at all, but something like a lack of food, well, the end result could be fatal.

What an amazing woman you are.

Breeze said...

You know Kerry..now that we are aware...a lot of people are wanting to help..it's very natural for people to step up in times of need...but it's very obvious that one person not "bothering" is devastating, particularly if they have the power to make things better. At least one teacher was witnessing this and didn't say anything..that bothers me about this more than anything. But it'll be fixed. I encourage anyone who has a child in school to question them to see if they have a hungry child they are aware of. It can make a world of difference if the "right" people know.

Sylvia said...

"No sharing" is just not human and against all principles of decency, in my opinion. Shameful. I couldn't see a hungry child and not give her anything. Probably, I would go to jail...

Clandestiny said...

Oh Breeze that's wonderful to hear! I really hope everything works out! And bless you, bless you, bless you for trying to set up a play date with her!!!! When I was young things were very bad at home but one woman kind of took to me like I was another one of her own children. It really made a world of difference to me just as you will for this child too!!

spottedwolf said...

Try packing an extra sack lunch one day, put her name on it, and tell your daughter to give it to her before class when no one is watching. Keep it simple with no peanut properties. Then wait till there is a response. If it works out maybe the kid will speak up to your girl a bit and you might find another way to help from therein...