The first Friday morning that Caleb received a bag of food from BackPack Beginnings is one his fifth grade teacher will never forget. Caleb does not have much food and getting the bag was overwhelming. That much food at one time was simply unbelievable to him. Every time the teacher turned around, Caleb was digging through his bag. At one point he had all his food out on his desk “like a buffet,” just looking at it. He told his teacher, “I am so hungry.” She finally had to keep the bag at her desk so he would pay attention in class. Now, a few months later, he is a happier and more attentive student.
By Thursday morning, the fifth grade teachers at Irving Park Elementary can tell which students have not had enough to eat that week. They are the ones that lose focus easily and are lethargic. When these students get their bags of food from BackPack Beginnings, it is a chance for them to be revived both physically and mentally.
The teachers notice that their students are always excited to get their bags. One of the fifth graders comes from a large family. Having her own bag of food is a huge deal for a child in a home where there is very little to go around. Several of the students are from single parent households and there is not much support at home. These children spend a great deal of time on their own over the weekend. Getting a bag helps them take care of themselves when there is no one to fix them a meal. Now Caleb and his classmates have enough food to stay full all weekend. They start the week ready to learn instead of being worried about being hungry.
All children’s names have been changed
Written on 4/8/2013 by Blogger Thea DeLoreto