Childhood hunger is a reality all year and summer is the hardest time without school breakfast and snack programs. The extent of hunger among children reflects the circumstances of their parents. Parents are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their children are well fed. However, if parents deprive themselves of food so that their children may have enough to eat but their children go hungry nevertheless, then hunger is as much a problem for the parents as for their children.
Children constitute about 39 percent of the people assisted by our food bank. Children cannot be responsible for their overall well-being. However, their current and future well-being is seriously disadvantaged if hunger becomes a normal part of childhood. For many children in Cornwall, summer means living without the additional fruits and school breakfast meals, and watching their parents struggle to get food on the table. Many of them will have to go without and parents, during the summer months, are faced with the stress of how to provide those meals. We want to ensure that every child has a proper meal this summer but we can’t do it alone!
Although we attempt to mitigate this unfortunate situation by providing families with more groceries and better food choices like fresh garden vegetables, we are also calling on YOU to help! Let’s work together to alleviate some of this tragedy.
If you are inspired to get involved and provide summer meals to children in need, here are some food drive ideas to get the wheels turning.
Cereal Drive: Every child (and adult!) should begin the day with a full breakfast. One thing the Agapè Centre can never have too much of is cereal. The families we serve are always grateful to receive cereal from our food bank. If you’re considering coordinating a food drive this summer, why not focus on collecting this high-priority item? Drives that concentrate on one type of food often generate a great response and nothing beats a few boxes of healthy breakfast cereal. Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats and general Mills Cheerios are excellent choices.
Summer Holidays: Chances are you’ll find yourself at or hosting a cookout this summer. In addition to spending time with our family and friends why not make it an opportunity to fight hunger this summer? Are you planning to make your famous macaroni salad for Uncle Bill’s party AGAIN this year? While the Agapè Centre cannot accept prepared food items, consider picking up some extra ingredients at the store and bringing them on over to us. Any canned or boxed shelf-stable items are appreciated and encouraged!
Day Camp: If you are working at, or attending, camp this summer, consider organizing a food drive to benefit the Agapè Centre. Collecting for a couple weeks or as part of a one day event can boost camp spirits while providing food to those in need. Brewing up a friendly competition is a great way to raise some impressive donations. Consider incorporating an educational aspect to the drive so campers get a sense of just how serious the issue of hunger is and why donating is so important.
The food raised during a drive will help support and strengthen the work that the Agapè Centre does for the Cornwall community, particular its’ most vulnerable.