Every Child Deserves Lunch.
Hunger has many faces. We’ve all seen the late night TV shows with the starving children of the world. I am not denying that hunger is a world wide epidemic, however I feel as a society we are doing it wrong when it comes to the issue of ending world wide hunger. Here in the United States 2 out of 10 children suffer from a form of hunger that is not readily portrayed on the media but is a cancer destroying the American future. It is also a kind of hunger that we can put an end to right here in our own communities. (thats right! I said end!) This kind of hunger is called Food Insecurity and it takes the form of children being forced to skip meals, eating cheap unhealthy snacks to fill their stomachs between “meals”. It takes the form of the single mother or father who promises a child their favorite meal soon, but today were going to eat some crackers because the light bill is due and mom or dad get paid on Friday. In this day and age many parents are being forced to make decisions between nutritious food for their children or keeping the household utilities running. Unexpected emergencies (car break downs, loss of work, illness even the price of gas going up) all wreak havoc on a parents budgets in this check to check world. This in turn has a negative impact on a childs’ nutritional needs and the emotional support that a newly developing child needs to develop properly. In fact research shows that children that come from homes with food insecurity are:
- More likely to act up in school, become the victims of bullying or are more likely to become bullies themselves
- More likely to miss school and suffer from poor attendance, Due to hunger related lethargy
More likely to repeat a grade during elementary school.
More likely to drop out off school before graduating from high school.
More likely to become obese as adults
As you can see the negative impact of these statistics on a child’s future can be significant.
Hand outs and alternatives don’t work either!
There are a ton of organizations out there that with good intention provide sack lunches and other alternatives to children. The problem with hand outs and alternative lunches is that it reinforces a poverty mindset in the child. When we give a child something different than another child receives, we are designating them as different in their developing minds. a child who receives an alternative sack lunch due to the finances of the parent, soon learns that they are poor and are to receive thing from others because they are less. some children view their circumstance as not being worth as much as others who get a regular lunch. In reality however, one can assume that a child that came to school without enough money for lunch is most likely not going to get a great meal that evening either. It also allows a child to be pointed out by others as being the poor kid. this negative mental reinforcement that is being instilled in the child , will grow as the child grows. let me give you an example of what we think and what a child thinks when it comes to hand outs and alternative lunches.
Our public response to a childs needs
identify a child in need
provide assistance in the form of school alternative lunch (cheese and crackers etc.) or a sack lunch (peanut butter and apple)
repeat process as necessary
How a child sees it
I go to school and they call me poor
I get a smaller lunch than others because I need help
I go home hungry still and feeling poor
Some parents don’t want government assistance
Sometimes a parents situation is temporary (loss of work or due to a temporary illness or injury) or sometimes ethnic or family pride gets in the way of parents wanting to receive formal public assistance. Sometimes Parents just don’t qualify for assistance because they are right on the cusp of poverty and affluence by government standards. There are many reasons why people don’t or cant use publicly available programs to supplement their income and feed their families, but the truth is, the future is in our hands. When we let one child slip through the cracks because its not our problem, the whole world suffers.
This is where Invisible Dad steps in
every child in elementary school deserves lunch, a full lunch like every other child, whether their parents can afford it or not. every child in elementary school deserves a full lunch, whether or not their parents file for public assistance. If a child knows that every day they go to school they are likely to get a full lunch, They are more likely to attend regularly and learn more. the whole world wins. Invisible Dad stands in the lunch line and every time a child cannot afford lunch he steps in and buys lunch for that child by way of a specially set up account within the school system. The invisible dad does not loan the child money, or expect payment in return. The Invisible Dad does not want a tax credit for his efforts. The invisible Dad has no hidden agenda or promotes any organization public or private. The invisible dad just stands silently rooting for the success of the children who will steer our future and will happily buy them lunch if they need it. Invisible Dad believes that if we help a child in his formative years to learn without the stigma of poverty and hunger, we create better children, if we create better children we can create a better world and if we create a better world, Hunger will lose its grip on society as a whole.
HOW DO I BECOME AN INVISIBLE DAD?
we are currently working on contacting schools in the walled lake area to set up invisible dad accounts. you can contact the school and deposit right into the invisible dad account as set forth by your elementary school. we are also trying to implement a lunch box program so that donations can be placed in the lunch box for use directly into the program. The program has been set up and has been in effect for 2 years at one walled lake school. The idea is now to reach all walled lake schools, followed by all oakland county schools, followed by a state and hopefully national model for the program. If we join together we can effectively abolish hunger in the schools. Don’t you agree that this is within our grasp? it has been for one school, with minimal effort, can you help with the rest of the children?
The Invisible Dad Organization will donate the cash value of 100 lunches to every Walled Lake Elementary School that does the following.
1. Establishes an invisible dad account that can be funded privately for the use of purchasing lunch for any child that would receive the alternative cheese and cracker lunch.
2. Develop their own letter to inform parents of the program (we can provide samples of the current letter being used.)
3. Registers with the invisible dad website (use contact form located under contact tab.
4. publishes the program and how it works in the school news letter
5. sets up at least one lunch box in the school for anonymous donations
Thats it! once that is done, Invisible Dad will visit your school and make a donation to start the program. after that we will help the school by channeling all donors to them. We do not collect any money from donations.We only raise money and channel the donors directly to the schools in our program. if everybody watches out for each others kids, we can truly make a difference in our tomorrow.