The following information is from Operation Frontline; a wonderful program which falls under Share Our Strength. The program helps surround kids who are at risk of hunger with nutritious foods where they live, learn and play.
Operation Frontline helps families with limited resources make healthy meals at home, using a wide variety of foods that are commonly available in stores and from emergency food providers.
All Operation Frontline courses promote making the healthiest food choices possible, even with limited resources.
Instructors teach lifelong cooking skills, practical nutrition information and food budgeting strategies that participants can use right away and take into the future.
Adult and teen participants receive groceries at the end of each class to practice the recipes they’ve learned at home.
Courses include information on available federal, state and local assistance programs.
Operation Frontline classes are popular with afterschool, summer food, Head Start and WIC programs.
And hunger doesn’t discriminate. It can affect any child—even those you’d least expect. Most people don't realize that one in six children are at risk of hunger. Not one in six children worldwide; one in six American children.
There have been many places I have traveled in the world. What I know, is we are all the same. While our upbringing and beliefs might vary, our basic need for food, shelter, love and warmth is fundamental. In every country you can find beauty and elegance, as well as back alleys with dark secrets which would be better kept that way. I have looked into the faces of children who are hungry. Mothers and fathers who would steal simply to provide for their loved ones. I have seen the faces of poor mothers who want to feed their babies and protect them, just as any other mother would.
When I was in Egypt recently, there were so many children who come up to me to beg for money, some as young as one and two years old. One little guy in particular tried to take my wallet out of my purse and blast it, I was mad, but I understand why. It absolutely breaks my heart to see this. My little guy kept telling them "Please don't do that!! That's naughty!" So we went into a small market and bought a great big bag of oranges and I let my son hand them out to the massive group of children who began to gather around us in the souq. The smiles one orange brought to their faces is almost unimaginable. They held onto them as if they were a prize. I know an orange is not much, but nutritionally Vitamin C helps. I would rather see children eat a piece of fruit than hand them a quarter and not know what it would be used for. I wished I had more to offer, but it was what I could do.
Right here in America a hunger problem still exists. I know at the end of each day, I can provide my little guy with what he needs. Knowledge is power and Share Our Strength is providing a service in many ways to help this problem. One person can make a difference. The children are our future and deserve a chance!
Whatever you do, do it from your heart!
(Pictures courtesy Share Our Strength: NO KID HUNGRY website 2009)