“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
~ Dr. Maya Angelou
It is one thing to read an article or hear a news story about hunger; however, it’s another thing to witness it firsthand. More than 16 million children live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. According to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, 1 in 7.5 people, or an estimated 755,400 people, in metro Atlanta and north Georgia turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families each year. This includes more than 164,000 children! Together with the Sodexo Feeding Our Future program, the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA is working to combat childhood hunger in Atlanta by providing meals to those children most at risk of food insecurity during the summer months.
I always talk about volunteering at the food pantry and how giving back is fun for me. I grew up in the Caribbean and as a child, my family always had food on the table, but many people in my village did not. My parents constantly gave back, feeding people and every Sunday we would have a community dinner for everyone. They always stressed to me the importance of sharing—they told me that if I have something, I should share it with those who don’t. When I moved to the United States, I carried my parent’s words with me and continued to help my community.
“We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day. So let’s start giving…”
Ah, summertime. Long days filled with friends, freedom, fun—and for millions of children in America, hunger.