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Madeline’s Story (One of Billions)

Luther E. Smith, Jr., Campaign Coordinator
Madeline sits in her third-grade class wanting to excel in her studies. But she came to school weak from hunger, and her mind is continually distracted by thoughts of food. This is not her first day being hungry. Most of her school days are days without a breakfast that would diminish the hunger pains and provide energy for the day’s challenges. So although Madeline listens to her teacher, she cannot concentrate.

Madeline has been labeled as “not very smart”, “not paying attention”, “lazy”, and “unmotivated.” These labels fail to recognize the real problem: Madeline is hungry. Her hunger will diminish her educational achievement, and her poor academic record will limit her future job options, and her low-income job will be the major reason that Madeline’s children are likely to be hungry and in poverty.

Hunger breeds cycles of poverty and despair. Among the multiple needs of children in poverty, providing them nutritious food is a major expression of love and hope. Food alone is not the answer to the answer to these children’s realities of violence, poor healthcare, inadequate educational resources, and extraordinary family stress. Still, food is essential to empower children for meeting the other challenges they face. Explore if the children in your area and state are receiving good nutrition. And if they are not, discover one thing that you can do to diminish the hunger of children.