FORT WORTH, TX, March 30, 2010 - Children are still leading adults. Sometimes it is the result of the grown-up relinquishing control - not good. Then sometimes children lead us in all innocence to places of great learning. That is if the adult will see what the child sees.
the young daughter of my good friend Caryn recently learned that our community
has a food bank. She learned that people right in her own neighborhood have
little or no food at all.
wise parents cleared a shelf in the kitchen and told her that this is what many
people see when they say there isn’t anything to eat. Empty space. Bare
shelves. Old Mother Hubbard.
this time Caryn won the use of a brand new Chevy Malibu for an entire month.
She was chosen by a local dealership to drive and blog about her experience
with the Malibu. Part of the prize was $200 worth of groceries from a local
upscale grocery store.
by what Sami was learning Caryn decided to donate her free groceries to the
Tarrant Area Food Bank. If you knew this lady you wouldn’t be surprised - even
if the issue of hungry people had not come up.
her blessings is a way of life for Caryn. She also wanted to give her friends
an opportunity to do the same, I am honored to be one of them. Yesterday
morning we gathered at the Tarrant Area Food Bank to make our donations.
the food was given to the bank we were offered a tour of the facility. It was
fascinating. We learned that the Tarrant Area Food Bank serves 13 counties in
Texas, moving over 1 million pounds of food through partner charities.
also discovered that Texas ranks #1 for the amount of hungry people in the U.S.
Texas’ ratio of hungry people is 1 in 4. This is twice the U.S. average of 1 in
8 hungry people.
Tarrant Area Food Bank is fighting this through programs like:
Café: It feeds children who receive subsidized meals at school, but cannot rely
on eating dinner at home.
For Kids: This program provides backpacks filled with child-friendly
non-perishable food for those children at greatest risk for being hungry on the
On Wheels/Senior Centers: Among Senior Citizens living in our area, more than
18,000 live in poverty and often must choose between buying much needed
medicine or groceries.
Food Initiative: Like a child, a loving owner will feed a pet before they feed
themselves. Why keep the animal in times of economic crisis? Animals help us
emotionally, psychologically, and socially. Pets help us to:
Adjust to serious illness & death
Be less anxious and feel safer
Relax and reduce everyday stress
Have physical contact
Lift our mood
Feel less lonely
Have something to care for
Have better social interactions
the above reasons are important to humans - especially when facing a critical
group also learned of The Community Kitchen at Tarrant Area Food Bank. This
school utilizes surplus food to teach culinary skills to low-income, unemployed
and underemployed adults who seek jobs as cooks and chefs.
it works: From the pamphlet from the TAFB, ”To provide groceries for the
training, Tarrant Area Food Bank recovers surplus fresh and frozen foods from
grocers, restaurants, hotels, and convention centers.
Community Kitchen students convert this recovered food into meals for hungry
children and adults served by the Food Bank’s network of hunger-relief
addition to the Culinary Arts these students receive coaching for success and
job retention as well as assistance with job searches.
this amazing? These graduates often go on to work at four and five star
restaurants, country clubs, and cruise ships.
not only “teaches a person to fish”, a program like this hands them
opportunity- opportunity to have the world on a platter, if they are willing to
work for it. And with an almost 80% hire rate these folks take full advantage
of this new lease on life.
general, you never know how a little knowledge will affect your life. Sometimes
not much, but other times a little learning will completely change the way you
thing, feel, and/or live. Don’t be too proud or uninterested to learn something
had just planned to support a friend whose generosity is something I
wholeheartedly believe in. And as a result, what I learned increased my respect
for this agency and others like it.
can’t wait to show my kids how volunteering for one hour will help kids be able
to eat. I also want them to see that it doesn’t take much to be an enormous
help to the food bank. Every dollar given feeds four people. Just think of what
would happen if everyone gave just a few items once a month?
little girl wanted to know about our local food bank. Now I’m posting this
information in an online column that is part of a major newspaper in the
nation’s Capitol. How cool is that?
little Sami to Washington D.C.; Some things never change. Thank God.