Third-grader Takiyah says that school supplies will help students “go forward in life, to get further in life.”
This holiday weekend, see how our U.S. Programs food kits help feed hungry families and how our partnership with Yoobi helps children succeed in school!
At Barnard Elementary School, where virtually all students qualify to receive free lunch, students sometimes hide food in their pockets to take home.
“A lot of parents are in survival mode,” says Assistant Principal Sandra Montgomery. She’s heard students tell teachers, “Yesterday, we didn’t eat.”
But hunger isn’t the only obstacle to learning.
“I count on my friends for a pencil,” says Kevin, a third-grader at the school in Washington, D.C.
“Attitude,” reads a sign inside Barnard, “is a little thing that makes a big difference.” But even the best attitude can’t make up for a lack of basic needs, be it a nutritious dinner or a school notebook.
More than 49 million Americans lived in food insecure households in 2013, according to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That means they had difficulty at some time during the year to provide enough food for all family members.
World Vision plans to distribute 40,000 Family Food Kits across the U.S. in 2015, enough to provide 600,000 meals. Each kit provides enough ingredients to make four meals, like black beans and rice, to feed a family of five for a day.
“I am a working mother. I work all the time to provide for my four children, but it is still so hard sometimes to provide them with enough food,” says Wendy, a mom in the South Bronx. She receives food kits from World Vision’s Greater New York field site through its partner, Lord & King Ministries.
“These food kits have helped a lot of people,” Wendy says. “So many people in this community don’t have [enough] to eat.”
The story is the same at Pantego Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas, which distributes food kits it receives from World Vision’s North Texas field site near Dallas. Pantego ministers to African immigrants, former prisoners and their families, and those living in shelters, including children, says the church's mission outreach coordinator, Brenda Landers.
“They never really have enough food to go around,” she says.
More than 96 percent of students qualify to receive free or reduced-price school lunch at Charles Henderson Academy in Chicago Public Schools, where Sara Ortiz teaches kindergarten.
For four years, Ortiz and her family have sponsored a girl in Rwanda through World Vision “to give her a hope and a vision for a better life and a better future,” she says. “It is our prayer that there will be a ripple effect that spreads wide and far and that her life will impact others.
“As a family, we understand the blessing in giving, and we don’t expect anything in return. We give simply from grateful hearts.”
Imagine her reaction when World Vision’s Chicago warehouse delivered free boxes of Yoobi brand school supplies to her school in May. World Vision’s U.S. Programs partners with Yoobi to help low-income children learn and succeed.
“Never did I think I’d ever be a recipient … It’s not often urban kids receive this kind of blessing,” Ortiz says. “I felt like it was Christmas.”
Yoobi gives away a school supply item—pencils, markers, glue sticks, notebooks, and the like—for each one it sells. Working with World Vision’s Teacher Resource Centers, the California-based company donated more than 7,000 classroom packs—enough supplies for at least 21,000 students—in 10 states this past school year.
World Vision plans to expand the distribution to schools like Barnard in the coming school year.
“With partnerships like World Vision, it really helps the students. A lot of students are homeless and live with relatives,” says Dorothy Clowers, principal of William Paca Elementary School in Landover, Maryland. “They just don’t have the funding to buy something as simple as a journal.”
Johnae, a sixth-grader, agrees: “It helps me take notes. You can take notes in a journal.”
Back at Barnard, third-grader Takiyah adds a philosophical note. School supplies, she says, will help students “go forward in life, to get further in life.”
Many children in the United States get most of their meals at school. For them, summer is a hungry season. Help provide Family Food Kits to hungry children in the USA.