A few years ago, just before Christmas break, a friend of mine reached out to me and a few of our mutual girlfriends on a mission: she wanted to do something nice for the children of a local preschool here in Atlanta. Yes, toys were involved. But our main purpose wasn’t to shower the kids with playthings. These kids, many of them low-income students whose only meals came from the breakfasts and lunches served at their school, needed more than action figures and mittens; they needed a way to silence the growl of their little tummies while away from the one place they could count on for sustenance. For some children, you see, a two-week vacation around the holidays isn’t all fun and relaxation. For all-too-many students in Atlanta, vacation means a lot of missed meals. Hunger.
Unfortunately, this isn’t exclusive to the holidays, when the spirit of giving reminds us to consider the needs of others. Come summer vacation, children from low-income homes that are a part of the free breakfast and lunch programs at their schools face off against hunger during the long, hot summer. And all-too-few of us, consumed by vacations, summer camps and other things to keep our kids busy, stimulated and satisfied, are thinking about the children who don’t have it like that. Who need help. Who can not and will not eat unless someone… anyone… steps up and makes a difference.
Today, I’m asking that the MyBrownBaby Family come together and help make a difference for children right here in my backyard in Atlanta. The United Way of Greater Atlanta has kicked off its second annual Silence the Growl campaign, a fundraiser designed to help fight summer hunger among children who receive federally-funded free and reduced meals during the school year. There are an estimated 350,000 children within a 13-county radius of Atlanta who receive free or reduced lunch and will be in need of nutritious meals this summer, and the United Way hopes to raise enough cash between now and June 1 to provide 15,000 meals to those kids who need them, in community centers, churches, summer programs and food banks in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.
I’m asking the MyBrownBaby family to collectively donate $500 worth of meals to the United Way’s Silence the Growl campaign. Our $500 contribution will provide 200 meals for children.
No donation is too small (or big!). These babies need to eat. We’re going to help the United Way and its partners feed the babies. There are several ways you can get involved and partner with United Way’s Silence the Growl campaign:
For more information on Silence the Growl and all the ways that you can help—from donating to hosting fundraisers to volunteering to make lunches for children in need—visit silencethegrowl.org.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.