- Casie Darnell
Local Jacksonville Women's Ministry Connects and Provides Food for Children
“Children cannot be hungry for knowledge if they are just plain hungry.”
A few months ago, I was talking to a friend before church service. He works as a substitute teacher for our local elementary schools in our small town in Central, Illinois, and he was telling stories about some of the students in his class(es). Most of his commentary was about the funny things that kids say and about the joy he finds in being a teacher. While we were talking, he mentioned he brings snacks with him to work to help feed the kids that come to school hungry in-between school meals. What I soon found out, is that it is not uncommon for teachers to purchase and pay for snacks for their students. This is when the specific need was identified by our church.
For some students, school meals are the only food available to the child for the day. Student hunger is a reality, even in our small town and even with great resources working hard to combat this problem. It is no secret the lack of food can impact a child’s behavior, anxiety, ability to focus, energy level and their overall education. These snacks throughout the day are a small joy for the kids, but also helping to fight a larger problem of student hunger.
Our church was able to partner with “Food for Friends” and our local elementary schools to help lessen some of the out-of-pocket costs for our teachers and to provide resources for children that come to school hungry. There are 68 classrooms in our school district, and we set a goal to provide a “blue bag” for every classroom. On July 23rd, our women’s ministry donated and filled the bags (provided by “Food for Friends”) with school-appropriate snacks and encouragement for our teachers. On August 10th, we set out to distribute the “Food for Friends” bags to the grade schools. The teachers were beyond grateful and we continue to be changed as we put our faith into action to glorify God.
Special thanks to Dan Herzog and to all of the “Food for Friends” family. Thank you to our local school district, and to all of the people from our 1C Church women’s ministry that helped to reach our goal.
“Let your Light shine before others, so they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” –Matthew 5:16