About a week or so ago I was flipping through the November issue of Carolina Country and came upon an article entitled “Hidden Hunger,” by Karen Olson House. According to House and a 2010 Hunger in America study “one in four children in North Carolina under the age of five goes hungry.” What? Seriously? Not cool. I have a soft spot in my heart for children in need and this immediately spurred me to action.
We had already filled and finished our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. I saw the link for a local food bank and immediately made contact. What a simple way to get my family involved and encourage them to make a difference. My children are young and therefore, aren’t able to participate in all volunteer activities just yet. The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, however, had just the thing…Kids Day! Yay!
Early Saturday morning Carver and I dropped Emma off with Ma (as we call my grandmother) and headed off to Greenville for a few hours of hands-on service.
It was the perfect amount for Carver to see that yes, some adults and children don’t have enough to keep their bellies full, and yes, someone else has to provide the resources, and yes, even more people have to provide the labor to get the food where it needs to go. If we (and the wonderful women and children we met there) don’t do it, who will? If we have the time and/or resources, why should it be us?
We only spent an hour and a half at the food bank that morning, because the volunteer coordinator, Angel Ray, actually had MORE help than she could use on that particular day! It was enough time for Carver, at almost 6 years old, to see what it’s all about when we donate food (and yet not so much time that he was exhausted at the end, because you know how little ones can get when they are tired!) and to see that he CAN do something when he sees a need. We may not irradicate a problem with our hour and a half of bagging sweet potatoes, but we can hopefully help one or two little bellies stay fuller, longer.
*If you are local to central or eastern North Carolina and would like to get your family involved at the food bank, please visit www.thefoodeffect.org or www.thefoodbankcenc.org for more information. Make sure that you register your family and the volunteer coordinators are expecting you!