When I was a young boy, it wasn’t uncommon for me to be hungry. The aid my family received at the beginning of the month never seemed to go far enough. I used to be ashamed to admit that my siblings and I often scavenged garbage cans to find food. There was a point when the only value I found in consistent school attendance was the free breakfast and lunch I received.
I talk a lot about imagination. I believe imagination drives us as humans to create a better world. But, you can’t be imaginative if you’re hungry. That’s what happens to many kids in our region during the summer.
On average, nearly 90% of kids in the City of St. Louis, and 50% across the region are eligible for free or reduced lunch. When summer hits, and they should be building forts and playing dolls and pretending to be superheroes, they have no food to eat and, therefore, no drive for imagination.
Our kids need imagination, and it’s our job to provide them the fuel.
Originally published at www.helpingpeople.org.