I received some very touching emails in response to my Hunger Artists post, about hunger in America's schools, specifically the school for the arts where my mother teaches. Several people even offered to send money to buy snacks for my mom's classroom, which is unbelievably kind.
Sadly, my mother's school is not the only one in this country dealing with kids distracted by their growling stomachs. Earlier this week, the Agriculture Department reported that in 2007--that's prior to the current economic downturn--close to 700,000 kids in America went hungry. That figure is up more than 50 percent from 2006, and probably much smaller than the number for 2008 will be. These figures are heartbreaking. And shameful.
The theme running throughout the emails I received was "How can I help?"
There are a few terrific organizations out there, who make a real difference for struggling people across this country, like Feed America and Save the Children. Additionally, most churches and synagogues have food collection baskets, which are a simple way to make sure your assistance goes to help your own community. Being aware of this issue and how it affects your community, your school district is the first step in combating the problem. If you're determined to affect change, band together with a few like-minded Mamas and brainstorm about ways to help. I believe unequivocally that motherhood is the mother of invention. Get a few smart, determined Mamas together and there's just about nothing that's impossible.