Sunday, December 18, 2011

Back Packs For Lunch

While I was on sick leave, I watched an episode of Anderson Cooper.  One of his guests talked about how she had started a lunch backpack program at a school in New York.  I remembered hearing about such a program before.

Well, you know how I am about listening to the Universe.  She sent me a message the very next day.  I received an email from the boy's school telling us there would be a basketball game soon.  The team was supporting a local program and asked that everyone that attended the game, both home and visitors teams, bring a jar of peanut butter.  They would be donated to a program that the elementary school custodian and his wife had started called CAREousel.  Yep, you guessed it...a Back Packs for Lunch Program.

I sent an email to the basketball coach asking for more information.  He forwarded it to Mr. K, the custodian, who called me that same night.  He explained that he had noticed that one child in particular was saving some of his lunch to take home on Fridays. After talking to the boy to find out that he was saving food for lunch on Saturday, Mr. K.  talked it over with his wife and they agreed to send a bag of food and snacks home with the boy on Fridays.  The project kind of took off from there.  Mr. K. told me that there were at least 150 students that would benefit from the program in just the elementary school.  So far, they have only been able to commit to 50 bags a week.  I asked him how much it would cost to fund one bag.  

Since we are on a pretty tight budget right now, I thought about what I could sacrifice to sponsor a couple of bags each week, and made the commitment to do so.

I'm not telling you this story to get a pat on the back.  I'm just telling you, because you may be looking for a way to make a difference.  You may want to be sure that difference is made in your own community.  If you have been thinking along these lines...take the leap.  Someone is waiting to hear from you.

Merry Christmas.


  1. That is a great post. It reminds us of the many ways in which we can help others. I have always believed that charity begins at home - in your street, your town. It reminds me of that chap in India who just got up one day and started cooking his own food and taking it to the poor. When you see people who need help - and you think of a way - how can you NOT act?

    Good on yer! ( A very Kiwi saying) x

  2. So much connection in this story...the custodian who recognized that the boys was saving food...the fact you watched the news that clued you into the idea of it...the fact that your custodian started a program...that you called and asked for more advice. I think all the connections are there but we get so wrapped up in our busy lives that we forget to listen.

    Thanks for reminding us to keep our hearts and ears open...and that the need nearby is often right out our front door. Merry Christmas, indeed.

  3. What a fantastic idea to help. Our Sunday School class has been wanting to help some families through the year that we helped at Christmas. I will suggest this as a way for us to help all through the year. Have a blessed Christmas.

  4. I lost my whole comment trying to sign in with Google! Ah well, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this. I hadn't heard of this before.

  5. Thanks, Carol, for posting this.

    Very observant teachers, indeed!!

  6. Carol, this is a wonderful post. And the idea behind the project is amazing and so humane and touching. To think of the boy (others) that save food to have for later just breaks my heart.And you are great to plunge into the program and help. I am sure the concerned families will deeply appreciate it especially now for Christmas. They will know they are not alone and they would certainly feel cared for. Sometimes it matters more than daily provisions.
    Happy holidays and God bless!!

  7. Great post, Carol! :-)
    The program you describe is inspiring. How good of you to jump right in!

    I'm not sure if it's the dismal economy or the spirit of the Christmas season, but the news seems very full of positive stories lately - like the anonymous donors (called "angels") who are paying off the layaway accounts of strangers - particularly Christmas toys and children's clothes set aside by parents struggling to afford them.

    Merry Christmas, Angel!
    xoxoxo :-)

  8. Wouldn't it be nice if no child--no person!--would suffer from hunger... or cold, or illness or whatever bad things there are to make us suffer! And isn't it fantastic that there are people like you who care to help...
    Thank you, Carol, for sharing this with us.
    Merry Christmas, my dear!

  9. I too think this is a wonderful idea. I do take time to give out sandwiches to those in need and always feel so much better when I do. Your post is awesome and very rewarding. Thanks for sharing. Carol, Merry Christmas to you and your, enjoy and take care. Thanks for being a bloggie buddy this year. :)

  10. I forgot to mention Carol that we do give as much as we can in one way or another. Take care.

  11. It sounds like synchronicity. The ironic thing is that peanut butter, often a staple in many homes, has gone up in price this year because of a bad peanut crop. So it is even more of a hardship for people who are struggling.

  12. Merry Christmas, Carol. Hope you have a great new year of crafting and helping all the little birdies out there.

    (No, YOU!! LOL!!)

  13. I think this is wonderful. Hope this finds that you had a wonderful Christmas. blessings,Kathleen

  14. HAPPY NEW YEAR Carol!!! I wish you nothing but the best. Look forward to reading your posts next year. Enjoy and take care.

  15. What a wonderful thing you are doing!! Thank you for having a kind heart.
    Our school district has a Friday backpack program for students that need assistance too. Also a breakfast program to feed kids who otherwise would show up at school without being fed. No one can learn on an empty stomach. It is terrible that in America, the land of plenty, children are going hungry!


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