Tag Archives: poverty

Seeking Ways to Alleviate Child Hunger Around the World

I love grocery stores!  I admit it. I really do.  I find a lot of joy in shopping for food.

Your contribution to our Feeding Programs make our work possible, and it is through your generosity that we are able to fill empty bellies and offer nutrition where there otherwise may be none.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of trips to the grocery store or food markets with family members. When I was really small, I spent Saturdays with my Aunt Louise and Grandmother Pierce while my parents worked. Every Saturday morning, my aunt would shop for groceries, and she always took me with her. At first, I sat in the basket as she shopped, but as I grew older, I graduated to pushing the shopping cart!  I thought I was hot stuff, let me tell you!  I clearly recall pushing that buggy down the aisles of our local A&P. I recall the smell of the freshly ground coffee near the front of the store, as well as the wonderful aroma of cakes and pies just out of the oven in the bakery.

Our Feeding Programs provide food for hundreds of children each year.

In my immediate family, my father did the vast majority of food shopping, and he loved grocery stores probably as much or more than anyone I have ever met.  There were six or seven food stores in our small town, and Daddy made the rounds from one to another, looking for bargains and stocking up on deals.  Sometimes when my dad was stressed or just needed an out from the responsibilities of daily life, he would say to my mom “Peg, I think I’ll just go to Winn Dixie and look around,” and off he’d go.  Sometimes I went with him, and Daddy loved pointing out the bargains –  BOGO items (buy one, get one free) and things marked down for clearance.

My folks were not wealthy. They were hard-working folks who sometimes struggled to pay their bills, but we always, always had food to eat, and my childhood memories are of wonderful meals and abundance. Both of my parents were excellent cooks, and I can still taste some of the special dishes they made — my mom’s lemon pie and fresh coconut cake, and Daddy’s fried chicken and chili con carne immediately come to mind. So many memories are of the taste and smell of food, and for me, of course, those magical trips to the grocery store.

It is hard for me to imagine being constantly hungry, but I am painfully aware that there are millions upon millions of people who go without proper food and nutrition on a daily basis. In the United States, 1 in 6 children face food insecurity, and globally, there are over 800,000,000 people who do not know where they will get their next meal. Over 3,000,000 children die each year from hunger and malnutrition. The numbers are astounding, and they are shocking. Sadly, they are reality.

Over 3,000,000 children die each year from hunger and malnutrition. The numbers are astounding, and they are shocking. Sadly, they are reality.

Children Incorporated is working to alleviate some of the suffering that comes from food insecurity. Our international and United States child feeding programs offer nutritious food to thousands of children on a regular basis.  As needs arise in the field – whether in a remote Kenyan village or a rural school in Eastern Kentucky – Children Incorporated responds to the calls we receive and provides life-sustaining nourishment to children and families. In Central and Latin America, this may be in the form of bagged rice and beans to feed a family for a month, or in the United States, food distribution through weekend and holiday backpack feeding programs. By whatever means, we are always seeking ways to reach more and more children and to alleviate their hunger.

Your contribution to our Feeding Programs make our work possible, and it is through your generosity that we are able to fill empty bellies and offer nutrition where there otherwise may be none.

Please, consider donating to our Feeding Programs today.

DONATE TODAY

 

Our U.S. Feeding Program

Our U.S. Feeding Program provides children food to take home on the weekends and during summer break when they otherwise might not receive regular meals. We support children at our affiliated projects in Kentucky, Washington, D.C., Arizona, New Mexico, Virginia, and New Orleans.

Every year, Children Incorporated provides food for hundreds of children in the United States. Consider donating to our U.S. Feeding Programs Fund to help ensure that children get enough food to eat every day.

What is backpack feeding?

Twenty-two million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. Although free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs provide significant nutritional benefits to students during the school day, many disadvantaged children do not have access to regular meals when school is not in session. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat.

Our U.S. Feeding Program helps alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with bags full of nutritious, non-perishable, and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons, so they have food to eat throughout the weekend or over holiday breaks. Thanks to our U.S. Feeding Program, children show up on Monday morning healthy and ready to learn.

What you need to know about child hunger in the U.S.

– In America, 1 in 6 children don’t know where they will get their next meal

– Nearly 13 million kids in the U.S. face hunger

– 5 out of 6 kids who rely on free or reduced-price school meals aren’t getting free meals in the summer

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How you can help

Every year, Children Incorporated provides food for hundreds of children in the United States. Consider donating to our U.S. Feeding Program to help ensure that children get enough food to eat every day.

DONATE TODAY

A School Full of Sponsored Children

Even by Navajo reservation standards, our affiliated project, the Lake Valley Boarding School, is located in an incredibly remote area of New Mexico, which makes our partnership with the school incredibly valuable to both the children and the school’s administrators. In fact, there are a total of 32 students in attendance at Lake Valley – each of which is sponsored through our sponsorship program.

“Over the years, there has been talk of closing the school and transporting the children to the nearest little town, which is Crownpoint, where the school has its post office box,” explained Children Incorporated Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“Since that time, we have been able to provide the items they requested as well as support students during the COVID-19 outbreak with food to take home while they moved to remote learning in 2020 and the spring of 2021,” said Renée.

“However, the school’s isolation makes the prospect of consolidation doubtful. The high desert region is arid, but it is not without rain. When the rains come, transportation in some areas comes to a virtual standstill. The mud is deep and thick, and many of the roads are in bad shape. Therefore, the school is quite essential for the few families that send their children there and our sponsors help these students more than they can imagine.”

Meeting Veronica and Jeannette

“Our volunteer co-coordinators at Lake Valley are Veronica and Jeanette. Both work in the school dormitory, as many of the children live on the outskirts of the districts, and the roads are sometimes too bad for a daily commute. The children stay in the dorm until Friday afternoon, and they return to the dorm on Sunday afternoon, except during summer, winter breaks and holidays. The ladies are a great and supportive team, and it’s obvious they’re devoted to every child,” said Renée.

Our co-volunteer coordinators, Jeanette and Veronica

“During my last visit to the school in 2019, we began our tour outside the main office when several boys ran up to show Veronica and Jeanette their team’s sports trophies. Of the 36 students from the area who competed in the track event, five were from Lake Valley. Jeanette and Veronica introduced me to George and Douglas* who live with their parents and one sister. Their mom works as a clerical assistant, and their father has erratic work as a laborer. His pay is good when he can find work, but he goes for long periods without. Their combined pay is below poverty level.”

“This is the situation for most of our sponsored kids at Lake Valley. Work is inconsistent, and daily commutes are grueling,” said Renée.

Supporting special needs and beyond

“After meeting the children, we then went on to the dorm and discussed our program. The ladies do all of their shopping at the Walmart in Farmington because they feel the funds stretch farthest when they drive further to get less expensive items. During my visit, they requested Hope In Action Funding for eyeglasses for two of the students who have vision issues due to their albinism. Veronica and Jeanette also requested to be considered if any funds become available for their playground, books in the dorm, tablets for the dorm, arts and crafts supplies for the dorm, and seeds and soil for the school greenhouse.”

“Since that time, we have been able to provide the items they requested as well as support students during the COVID-19 outbreak with food to take home while they moved to remote learning in 2020 and the spring of 2021,” said Renée.

*Names changed to protect the children.

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How do I sponsor a child in the united states?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

Helping Parents Become Teachers

We recently received a letter from our volunteer coordinator at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Lebanon that we wanted to share with our sponsors and donors. Amidst all that has happened since 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thankful to hear that there have been some good things to come out of the harder times for children in our program — and their families:

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more.

Greetings from the FAID Family

“Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you on behalf of the FAID family for all the support we have received from you over the years, especially during the last two years. Running our school in an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic has been highly challenging.

A school cannot be run without staff. With your help and support, we have held onto our team and continued paying wages. However, the hyperinflation in Lebanon has reduced the buying power of the wages by a lot. One Lebanese pound is now worth less than one-tenth of what it was two years ago. But your support has enabled us to provide food parcels on three occasions for everyone – students, families, and staff – connected to the school.

Students are back in the classroom at FAID after an 18-month period at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 also offered a blessing by helping parents in Lebanon become teachers of their deaf children. Several lockdowns reduced our face to face teaching time severely. So, we needed to find another way to help our children and their parents develop their educational skills. Our staff made several videos on a particular topic each week. The video “OPPOSITES,” for example, explained all about up and down, in and out, high and low, etc. These videos, made for WhatsApp, were easy for parents to use.

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more, and most of all, reduced the emotional trauma that exists in families having children with special needs.

The value of continued support

Furthermore, providing audiology support, hearing aid maintenance and batteries during COVID is very challenging. Again, because of the help of Children Incorporated and their sponsors, we could put in the safeguards and precautions to make it possible.

We would heartily appreciate your keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Our political and economic situation is extremely worrying. There is a shortage of medicine, fuel, electricity and sometimes food, and the prices are going up on a daily basis. We know we can depend on your continued support, and for that, we are tremendously grateful.”

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How do I sponsor a child in Lebanon?

You can sponsor a child in Lebanon in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in Lebanon that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

A Long Way to Go for Resources

The Ojo Encino (pronounced “OH-ho en-SEE-no”) Day School lies in a remote area of north-central New Mexico. The closest landmark may well be the Continental Divide. Even the nearest post office — in Cuba, New Mexico — is almost 40 miles to the northwest.

Our affiliated project, the Ojo Encino Day School, offers impoverished children in this area nutritious meals, encouragement, and a quality education, as well as support with basic needs through our sponsorship program — all despite the closest stores being hours away.

Although situated outside of the Navajo Indian Reservation’s boundaries, this area is still very much part of the United States’ “Navajo Country.” The children who attend Ojo Encino live with their families in traditional Navajo hogans scattered throughout the spectacular but inhospitable desert. Winters here are harsh, and summers are hot and dry. Because of widespread, debilitating unemployment, area families struggle to afford even the most basic necessities as they grapple with the socioeconomic effects of poverty. Our affiliated project, the Ojo Encino Day School, offers impoverished children in this area nutritious meals, encouragement, and a quality education, as well as support with basic needs through our sponsorship program — all despite the closest stores being hours away.

Making Trips to Albuquerque

“In the Fall of 2019, I met with our coordinator, Nora, at Ojo Encino Day School,” explained Shelley Oxenham, Children Incorporated U.S. Projects Specialist.

“Nora is the school secretary, athletic director and volleyball coach — she is a busy lady! She does most of her Children Incorporated work at home in the evenings and weekends. Although there is no staff available to help her with the Children Incorporated program at the school, she does have a helper with her shopping trips.”

“Nora does most of her shopping at Walmart in Albuquerque, a three-and-a-half-hour round trip drive. She purchases clothes and shoes for the students and sometimes she purchases snacks,” said Shelley.

Challenges for Families and Children

Nora pictured with Shelley Oxenham

“She told me that most of the families get enough food stamp assistance to cover a month’s worth of groceries — but even the closest well-stocked grocery store is approximately an hour and forty-five minutes away. There is a very small grocery store in Cuba, about a thirty-minute drive, but the food is very expensive, and it is often outdated or spoiled; it is a last resort for food.”

“The majority of families live in homes equipped with water and electricity — only a few on the northwest side of the region are without water. Most children live with their parents; there are very few students in the school who are being raised by grandparents.  At most of our U.S. schools, we are hearing of more and more grandparents raising grandchildren (or even great-grandchildren) so this was quite the exception, and I was glad to hear it,” said Shelley.

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 How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in the United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

Supplying Vitamins During COVID-19

Located just southeast of Mexico, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. Its spectacular mountains boast a wealth of natural resources and stunning biodiversity. For centuries, this land served as the core territory of the Mayan civilization.

We are incredibly grateful for the support from Altar’d State, as well as for all contributions that donors have have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Following two centuries of Spanish colonization, Guatemala gained its independence in the early nineteenth century, only to endure another 150 years of political instability and civil unrest. Additionally, this area is prone to devastating natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes which cause mudslides and flooding. Despite recent economic growth and successful democratic elections, Guatemala still struggles with widespread poverty, illiteracy, crime and high rates of unemployment and underemployment.

Located in one of Guatemala City’s impoverished neighborhoods, our affiliated project, the Juan Apostol School, offers support to children in need. Founded in 1964, the school strives to provide students with a well-rounded education while also offering other vital resources — including vitamin supplements which kids need to remain healthy and able to attend school.

Why Vitamins?

According to the website HealthyKids.com, “Vitamin means ‘vital for life’. Vitamins and minerals are compounds necessary for the healthy functioning of our bodies. We need vitamins and minerals to help us grow, to see correctly, to form bones, muscles, skin and organs, as well as to help us battle infections.”

Two of our sponsored children hold their supply of vitamins thanks to our partner, Altar’d State

Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to severe problems. The best way to ensure your child receives enough vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development is to provide a wide variety of fresh foods from the five food groups including whole grain bread and cereals, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes, and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Unfortunately, for many children living in poverty around the world, having access to fresh food at all times is not always an option, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in countries like Guatemala, where many families were not receiving support as they quarantined and were forced out of work.

Altar’d State offers their support

In the last months, thanks to a contribution by our partner, Altar’d State, to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, we were able to provide funds to the Juan Apostol School in Guatemala for a three-month supply of vitamins containing vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc for all 102 children enrolled in our program. And, because our volunteer coordinator was purchasing these items in bulk for the benefit of children, the local pharmacy provided a four-month supply of vitamins at the cost of just a three-month supply!

We are incredibly grateful for the support from Altar’d State, as well as for all contributions that donors have have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has allowed us to further support kids in our program beyond sponsorship.

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How do I sponsor a child in Guatemala?

You can sponsor a child in Guatemala in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in Guatemala that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD