As the first time Dad of a first grader, my responsibilities as a parent recently became more complicated. Before this school year, all I had to do on a daily basis was make sure my child stayed alive in my presence, but now I have added responsibility of making sure he not only eats elsewhere, he thrives in an educational system, so my mornings and afternoons consist of making sure his lunch is packed and his homework is done. While this parental challenge is no big deal to experienced parents, it’s been a significant learning experience on my end. But I’m not the only one who is learning through these daily challenges, my son has begun to take a keen interest in the contents of his lunch. Everyday he asks me how healthy his lunch is, and demands to know the nutrient content of each item: “How many nutrients do my carrots have Dad?”, “How much iron is in my sandwich?”, “Do pretzels have a lot of protein?”. I cannot express what a joy it is to see my child concern himself so seriously at such a young age about what he eats.
With the joy of knowing I am providing my son with a healthy meal on a daily basis, comes the knowledge of knowing that millions of fathers are not given the same chance everyday. I think of all the parents who miss out on this simple joy by suffering from the burden of chronic hunger. They are faced with the terrible choice of not sending their children to school because the school cannot feed them daily, and there just isn’t enough food to send with the child to school. No parent should have to see their child’s future destroyed by the preventable suffering of hunger.
Each Advocate through 25 in Change tries to coordinate 75 Partners to provide $25 so that an Advocate can eat three meals of rice and beans per day over the course of 25 days. Each $25 contribution provides 100 school meals for hungry children around the world, and provides an immeasurable joy to each parent who knows that their child was fed a nutritious meal that day and received an education. In total, each Advocate’s partners can provide up to 7,500 school meals for hungry children. That’s enough school meals to feed three children from K-12. In the span of 25 days, Advocates will guarantee more school lunches than I ever will with my own children.
On April 7th, two churches are coordinating their members to become Advocates and Partners through 25 in Change. Denver Community Church and Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church will aim to provide a total of about 400,000 school meals for hungry children, and kick start healthy diets for the 4,000 Partners who contribute $25 for school meals and commit to give up fast food for 25 days.
April is going to be great month for parents and school lunches!