A mom was late picking up her daughter and two sons the other day at work. The little girl, who is in third grade, commented that she was hungry. Just making conversation, I asked what she hoped would be for dinner when she got home. She said, “dinner”. I thought she misunderstood my question, so I rephrased it. I wanted to know what she thought she would be eating or what would she be excited to be having for dinner. Again, she answered, dinner. Then she went on to explain that they don’t usually have dinner. Mom doesn’t have much money for food so the only time they get dinner is when they go to their grandmother’s house for it.
The meals this girl and her brothers count on are the meals served at school. I hear a lot about hunger and children even here in America, but I never saw it so close up. I felt grieved in my spirit over this little girl and her family and no telling how many others like her who do without except for the meals at school. With spring break just around the corner and schools being closed, I can’t help but wonder, what these kids will do for food.
The church I attend, Rhapsody and the YMCA we are housed in are joining to offer free lunch to the kids in the 300 unit apartment complex next door. We will cook hotdogs and have apples and chocolate chip cookies for them. We need volunteers and we need donations to pull this off. We expect to feed about 300 kids a day.
What about your neighborhood? Do you have any idea how many kids will be hungry this spring break when school is closed?
I said that I felt grieved in my spirit over this and I still am but as I drove home that day, I felt grieved for another reason. I can’t count how many times I have driven home from work and grumbled to myself that now I had to go fix dinner. Ugh! How gross is that? Never once have I come home and simply had nothing to feed my family. Not once, and I probably could count on one hand the times I stopped to be grateful for that fact.
What a simple, yet profound shift to go from grumbling about having to cook dinner to being grateful that we have food to eat. And all because a little girl and her family do without dinner and see that as usual.
Father, I can’t even begin to imagine how many kids in our country will go hungry this spring break. How many have just learned that hunger is part of their life. Please help us get the donations we need and the volunteers we need to feed the children right here in our community. Please forgive me for not seeing this sooner and for grumbling over dinner instead of being grateful. Would You, once again, multiply the bread we have and the offerings we have and make it stretch to feed every hungry child that comes to our lunch. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.