This is the reality a large segment of our population faces every day. (Without the big screen TV of course.) According to the Feeding America web site, in 2016 there were 268,125 people in Muskegon, Kent and Ottawa counties alone that are dealing with, what is described as, “Food Insecurity”. Of that number, 9,440 are children in just Muskegon county. The dictionary defines food insecurity as “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.”
So many of us have been conditioned to accept the face of hungry kids as those Somalian refugees with the dark skin, distended stomachs and flies landing on their face. We’ve all see the television commercials asking for help for starving children. And while I don’t want to discourage anyone from helping children from anywhere in the world, and let’s face it, there are millions of kids that need our help, you don’t have to look that far. For in our communities, our schools, our neighborhoods and our churches they walk among us. It’s the child with the big brown eyes gazing out the window in the car next to us or maybe three of the four kids waiting at the corner for the school bus in the morning. We don’t see them because they look like us. Unfortunately hunger can be easy to hide.
This year, we at Watkins have decided to connect with Kids’ Food Basket in West Michigan to help with this problem. Kids’ Food Basket’s mission statement is very simple. It reads, “Empowering communities to attack childhood hunger so that young people can learn and live well.” They describe themselves as a grassroots, community solution to childhood hunger. If you have not heard about this wonderful organization I encourage you to go check out their web site at kidsfoodbasket.org. At its core Kids’ Food Basket provides sack suppers to kids in several West Michigan Schools. Kids’ Food Basket delivers sack suppers to schools as part of their safe and consistent environment for children.