This post is definitely not sponsored, it is just a cause I really want to support.
Kids not having food is just not okay with me. The world has enough food to go around, the food just needs a little help to get to where it is needed most.
There is an organization near-ish to us where we like to spend our time. (We have to drive ~30 minutes, but that’s not a big deal). It is a service organization that has volunteers come in and pack meals that are sent around the world to places where kids aren’t getting the nutrition they need. It is called Feed My Starving Children, see if they have a location near you.
It is such a good experience. You wear hairnets, wash your hands really well, then go back to a factory-like area where you work at assembling meal kits. It is definitely work, but the shifts are between 1.5 hours – 2 hours long, so very do-able.
One of my favorite parts is that my kids are allowed to come do the service with me. There is a required ratio of kids to adults, but my family of 2 parents + 4 kids are at just the right ages to be able to ALL go together! (My 3 girls are in middle school, so they only need 1 adult with them because the middle school ration is 1:3. My 1st grader also needs 1 adult just for him.)
It is so much fun! We get really into it. It is not a competition, but don’t tell that to my 1st grader. He whispers to me several times “are we winning?” He wants reassurance that we were going faster than the other groups around us packing food.
We actually tend to go fast, but that’s just because part of the fun for people like me and my husband is running a super-efficient group. Other groups seem to enjoy just being together with their friends or family, chatting while doing a good deed. And while I admire that, that is not our personalities. It turns out our kids are like us, because our whole family gets SO into quickly and efficiently packing the food packs. I believe our group had double some of the other groups last time we went. But nope, not a competition, not a competition. 😂
If you live close to a Feed My Starving Children location, go and serve. It doesn’t cost anything to do the service of packing the food. You are welcome to donate to the cost of the food (donations are obviously important). Doing the service is is important too, so just do what you can!
Oh my gosh, they play these success story videos about starving, malnourished kids that become healthy, vivacious children when they get FOOD. The videos make me cry every time, even though I know they’re coming.
Feeding hungry kids is one of my soapbox topics in my personal life, though I’ve hardly talked about it on the blog. In addition to supporting Feed My Starving Children, I also love supporting the food bank in my town.
Last fall, the group of girls I lead at church made meal packs for kids. We are already planning to do it again in a few months.
Why am I just starting to talk about it this cause now if it is so important to me? Well, I’ve had this inner struggle about it. Religiously, I believe in quiet, humble service. If I do good things, then tell everyone I’m doing them, am I doing them for the right reasons? Am I serving God or trying to make people think I’m awesome? I finally decided that maybe part of my service this time could be spreading the word and inspiring other people to join the cause.
I think it has been wonderful for my kids to think about and serve kids they’ll never meet, kids with very different lives. I know they feel grateful for the bounty in their lives, for our pantry full of food and dinner on the table every night. I believe they understand now that not everyone has enough food.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that my kids eat the food I put on the dinner table every night even if it isn’t their favorite. They appreciate when we put leftovers in their lunch and use up all the good food we make. Letting food go bad is a big waste of money, money that could help others.
(As a side note: At our house we are willing to throw away treats and junk food that goes uneaten after parties or holidays or whatever. The time to save money is to cut down on buying that stuff, not forcing ourselves to eat junk that we buy. Matt and I are very clear on the difference: nutritious food does not get wasted, junk food can happily go in the trash.)
Several times a year I rope my whole family into helping me with some project to feed hungry kids. Sometimes it is just our family gathering food from our pantry and the store, then donating it to the food bank. Sometimes I rope other people into my shenanigans as well. And while the food above doesn’t look to be super high-quality, I often focus my purchases on food kids can make themselves.
If you don’t live close to a FMSC, donate to your local food bank. Statistically speaking, it is almost guaranteed that there are kids close to you, in your town, that aren’t getting the food they need. Kids don’t have to go hungry, we can all help!