We all know that poverty and hunger are equal to one another. Without an income, there is inevitably an increase in food insecurities. We also all know that the world we live in is amazing, but it is not perfect. There are individuals, nationwide who struggle each day to get food for themselves, their families, and their children. Whether they are working at a low-paying job, or asking for money on the side of the street, they are living day-to-day not knowing when their next meal will be or if they'll be able to feed their kids.
Statistics show that 1 in 5 children in America suffer from hunger, and the primary season the children suffer from hunger is during the summer months. This is due to the fact that during the summer, children are no longer in school and cannot receive their free lunches and their parents often cannot afford to have provide daily meals, so the children suffer.
Hunger suffrage and poverty is not something that is typically noticed, unless it is in a city or an over-populated area. However, we do not necessarily need to see hunger for us to help. There can be a student at our child’s school who might be dreading the last day of school, because that means that he/she will have to go through the summer not knowing when his/her next meal will be.
We do not necessarily have to donate money, but there are so many other ways to help out. We can help by collecting non-expired canned goods, volunteering at churches or other organizations that host soup kitchens, and some cities even host summer meal assistance programs! Just by helping to promote this can help so many families have a meal each day.
Families can text “food” to 877-877, and will receive a text message with the name, address, days, and times of the organization near the family for the summer. Just by sending a simple text can decrease hunger.
The reason I am so passionate about this topic is because for two years I have volunteered my time in the Dominican Republic for medical mission trips. I have seen children that are malnourished to the point of having a skeleton-like appearance. As college-students, we were limited in what we could do outside of giving them vitamins, begging their parents to take them to a good pediatrician, and hoping for the best. I may not have been able to do much in the Dominican Republic due to limited time and resources, but I know that in America I will do anything I can to help decrease hunger in children. The first couple steps are to acknowledge that there is a problem, start promoting, and start volunteering my time.
At the Child Advocacy Center in Lapeer we see a multitude of cases, including abuse and neglect, that are all unique. A case of child neglect can imply many things, but there are some cases where we see children that are malnourished and not being properly fed. As a center whose main focus is to care for the well-being of the children, it's heartbreaking to see families struggling to provide and it's our point to make a difference, even if it's just for a moment. When families come to our center, we provide snacks and water, and do everything we can to lead them to the right resources. Below is a list of resources for families to utilize and for community members to pass along!
I have been living in the Lapeer County area for 15+ years now, crazy huh! I absolutely love it because there are so many resources available that sometimes we do not know about. There are food banks, churches, and now, even schools are starting to assist the students more each year. With schools, as long as you are 18 years of age and younger, you can be approved for these meals during the summer. Parents are able eat as well for a small price.
Imlay City Summer Meals Program (June 26-August 8, 2017)
Imlay City Middle School, 495 W. First Street. Imlay City, MI 48444
Through the Imlay City Summer Meals program, free meals are available to children 18 years of age and under and persons over 18 who participate in a public or nonprofit private school program established for mentally or physically handicapped. View the Summer Breakfast and Lunch menu here!
Breakfast: 7:45-9:00 AM
Lunch: 11-00AM-12:30 PM
Late Meal: 2:00-3:00 PM
Lapeer Community School Free Summer Food Program (Starts June 19th, 2017)
Website for more information: https://lcsblog.com/2017/06/16/lcs-free-summer-food-program-starts-june-19/
- Rolland-Warner 6-7 Campus (June 19-August 18, 2017 – no service July 3 and July 4)
Breakfast: 7:15 a.m.-8:30 a.m., Lunch: 10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
- Lapeer Co. Parks and Recreation Building (June 19-August 18, 2017 – no service July 3 and July 4)
Breakfast: 8:15 a.m.-9:15 a.m., Lunch: 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
- Lapeer District Library – Lunch on the Lawn (June 20-August 17, 2017 – no service July 4)
Lunch: ONLY Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.
- Hunter’s Creek Mobile Home Community (June 19 – August 18, 2017 – no service July and July 4)
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Lapeer County Community Mental Health (July 10-July 14, 2017)
Breakfast: 9:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m. and Lunch 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Meals served at Maple Grove School, 2020 Imlay City Rd., Lapeer.
Stone Soup Food Bank
475 South Court Street, Lapeer, MI 48446.
Stone Soup Food Bank is available to the residents of Lapeer County. This food bank allows family members to go on a "food shopping spree" once every 30 days. They are great at providing a wide variety of food options for families, because they know every family has different meal preferences. There is client verification requirements, so visit their website (http://www.stonesoupfoodpantry.org/) to make sure you and your family qualify.
For food assistance they are available:
Tuesday 9:00 am-2:30 pm.
Wednesday 11:00 am-4:30 pm.
Friday 9:00 am-2:30 pm.
Lapeer Church of Christ
1680 N. Lapeer Road, Lapeer, Michigan 48446
Lapeer Church of Christ is another great organization that hosts multiple soup kitchens throughout the year. Their soup kitchens are every Wednesday from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm. Visit their email@example.com for more information.
If you have any questions or information on additional food banks that are closer to where you live, or if you have any recommendations that we can share with others, feel free to contact us at 810-664-9990 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.