The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Columns

April 19, 2014

Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?'

At some point, someone has to do something.

I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

The food can speak volumes to that young person who lives in that circumstance. Someone cares and is willing to help.

It can also speak to the adults who provide it. We can make a difference. The adults of food insecure households may feel some short relief when a bag of food comes home with their child, but are also painfully reminded about the gap they struggle to fill through their own efforts. Happy and sad at the same time.

Can we ever dream to have no hungry children? Does it have to be a dream? What would that do for learning the skills needed to become self-sufficient? Ask a teacher how hungry kids perform in school versus when they are not hungry.

I recently met with a teacher who has been receiving some snacks for special needs students through one of our school feeding programs. She describes the effect for her students of having a snack and being able to focus as night and day, less chaotic with increased attention span. A lot is written about our school performances and the skills gap with job openings.

Could there be a relationship between well-fed children and doing well in school? When a young person isn’t thinking about missing dinner, maybe he or she can think about the relationship between the square root of a number and a prime number.

The point is, we have the available food it takes to have no hungry children. Is this topic too politically sensitive for anyone to step forward and make it happen? Is it too extreme to create the mechanism for this to happen in every school?

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