‘But I won’t get any supper …’
A few years ago, a Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) volunteer at Ryves Youth Center shared a story with me.
Ryves Youth Center in Terre Haute serves an after-school meal Monday through Friday and provides a food backpack for the weekend.
On this particular day, a second-grader arrived late and told the student volunteer that she needed supper.
“Oh honey, you are too late for the meal,” the volunteer replied.
The child crawled up on her lap, crying loudly, “But I won’t get any supper! I won’t get breakfast! I won’t get anything until lunch tomorrow (at school)!”
Nearly 16 million children in the United States – one in five – live in households that struggle to put food on the table.
Providence Food Pantry in West Terre Haute feeds an average of 320-plus families each month, but only one out of every 20 grocery bags that feed people who are hungry come from church food pantries and other private charities. Federal nutrition programs, from school meals to SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) provide the rest.
“I deeply appreciate the tremendous support for Providence Food Pantry, but for the sake of the families we and others serve, please support Bread for the World’s 2015 Offering of Letters also,” said Sister Joseph Fillenwarth, director of the pantry.
Bread for the World is urging Congress to renew our federal government’s major child nutrition programs, including those for school meals, summer feeding and the WIC nutrition program for pregnant and new mothers along with their small children.
Every five years, Congress must re-authorize the law that funds these programs, which have helped millions of children for several decades.
Bread for the World requests you to write letters supporting their resolution. This year, Andrea Beyke, SMWC campus minister, and some SMWC students will carry these letters and personally deliver them to Indiana’s congress persons in March. A number of churches in Terre Haute are supporting the effort.
You, too, are invited to write letters to your congress persons for the students/graduates to deliver.
Here is an example of a letter.
Write your name and address at the end of the letter. In addition, write the name of your congress person and your return address on the envelope. No stamps are necessary.
If you are unaware of who your congress persons are, click here.
If you do not live at or near Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, but are from Indiana and coming here for a meeting, we will be glad to accept your letters.
Boxes for the letters will be placed in the community room in Providence Hall and in the mailroom of Owens Hall.
The due date is on or before Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.
In case you’re still wondering, yes, the student volunteer got some food for the child who was late.