“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa
Today, I read a story about a boy who asked his mother to start packing him an extra lunch for school.
The mother learned that the extra lunch wasn’t for her son, but for another child who had only been bringing a fruit cup to school. It isn’t the first time I’ve heard about a child experiencing school day hunger.
So, the mother, once homeless herself, did so. She made two sandwiches every day. She learned that the boy’s mother had recently lost her job and was struggling to make ends meet.
People came together and helped this woman.
Funds were raised to pay off all the outstanding school lunch tabs so that every child in that school wouldn’t go hungry during the school day.
This woman, by feeding one child, set off a chain reaction that led to so many more children being fed.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” — Mother Teresa
And she did.
I started to read the comments.
Of course there was outrage that there were any children going hungry in an American public school. And there was the sadness that goes with the reality of childhood hunger. But I saw one comment that really struck me.
A woman mentioned a sharing cart system being used at her school system.
A sharing cart.
A cart where students can put back unopened food items and where students can help themselves to said items.
What an idea! I mean this could really help! We’ve got some students that might not qualify for free or reduced lunches or their parents might not have applied for the program but still cannot make ends meet. Or families that fell behind their school lunch account – for whatever reason – and the child gets denied a hot lunch. Maybe groceries were tight that week at home. Perhaps Dad lost his job and no one could apply for benefits. Or maybe there’s a kid who is going through a growth spurt and the hot lunch isn’t cutting it and he or she needs a second helping of something….
Welcome to the sharing cart.
A dynamic flow of the extra food that kids don’t eat that would normally get tossed – that now gets consumed by those who need it.
I love it.
So I called our local school’s food services department and ran the idea past them.
We’ll see where this goes from here; I’m hoping that all kinds of red tape doesn’t get in the way of feeding some hungry children.
But I can tell you one thing. If it weren’t for the actions of that one woman – a woman I’ve never met – I wouldn’t have been inspired to place the call.
Don’t ever underestimate what the power of one can do.
What do you think of a sharing cart at your child’s school?