Working on being healthy in body , mind , spirit..135 lbs lost, then Maintained for a few years, and lately some regained. Working on it -in and out of Pjs
Saturday, June 18, 2011
School Lunch Programs--but schools out for summer? not your usual food/ weight loss blog post
(excuse me while I step up on a soap box (cans of peaches) and try to plant a little seed of inspiration)
So , School Lunch Programs--free or reduced priced school lunches.
I don't have kids , so it's not really on my radar to think about this. Apparently , in the county I live as many as 67% of the students at one school qualify for and rely on this program. But wait, I was a school lunch program kid back in the day. Yea, my dad died when I was in high school, my mom was disabled, and money was a 'wee bit' tight. I worked a part time job and I wouldn't have been hungry without the program, but it sure helped my mom with our tight financial budget
Ironically for this food addict, my church's main ministry is a food bank for the people of our community and it helps thousands every week. The church houses the food bank on our property and grows a sort of victory garden farmed by volunteers to provide fresh veggies for the clients. We co-host an annual 5k to raise money for food. Every week several people donate time, food, and money. It's a small church, but I can see that we make a difference. The food bank sure makes a difference.
I have a sense of guilt that I'm obese. I'm a food addict who has difficulty with control of food, and yet I volunteer and support a food bank. It seems ridiculous, and yet I can see it probably is a part of a bigger, divine plan. I actually find it easier not to deal with the actual sorting and distribution of food because all that food triggers me. I'm learning that I have a lot of emotion triggered by deprivation, so the ministry of this food bank really touches me. I know many people go hungry and are deprived of many things. I can only focus on what I can try to do something about. And, the fact that when school is out kid's may not eat lunch or even at all kinda pisses me off and makes me weepy. Don't even get me started on some of the elderly patients I would visit as a home health nurse. I ran the 3K at the race this year and donated enough with my sponsorship money to represent a dollar for every pound I've lost and want to lose.
But this isn't about me so let me redirect this. Our pastor told a story at this springs 5K race . During this year's snow storm that shut Atlanta down for a week, people were showing up in the snow and ice at the food bank because their kids were hungry and missing out on their main hot meal of the day- The school lunches. So what happens during the summer time when school is out of session?
Our church is one of many that supports the community food bank in making lunches for some of these kids. One night each week a few ladies at our church get together and create 60 bag lunches from supplies donated by our members. Those 60 bags represent next Friday's lunch and are 60 of the 400 lunches that are going to be served that day . 2000 lunches total for a week. And we need to do more. That's just for a few of the kids at a few of the schools in part of one county. Thursday night, I made about 30 turkey / cheese sandwiches while my partners assembled a pack of chips, cup of applesauce, and cookies in to a bag. I made those sandwiches with love.
It was my first time to volunteer to make lunches and I'll keep doing it through the summer. It doesn't seem like much or enough, and I want to do more. Yes, get out of my comfort zone and do more. So, I wrote this little post. Not to get anyone to donate to our food bank but to put this out there. Plant a seed. You in your own communities either have or need food banks that need to be nurtured.
And I wonder: Why don't all churches grow veggie gardens for the hungry of their community? Why can't park space also be utilized and farmed by volunteers. Couldn't we teach more people to be self sufficient? What about people who have back yard gardens and have excess veggies from say a bumper zucchini crop? Do they donate it to anyone? And the school lunch issues? What about the other county's? The other states?
I get overwhelmed thinking about the big picture. I'd love to hear what other people are doing in their communities or if you have other solutions or maybe want and do get involved. I never feel I do enough for others, and this blog reflects how much I focus on food in my life. I can see that food and real deprivation comes in to a healthier perspective when I look outside of my little world.
(climbs off soap box (cans of peaches) and feels a little better getting that off my chest)
I'm a Geek for many things: Food, Pajamas, Coffee, Chocolate, Movies, Books, getting and being fit and healthy, 80's music, and the list goes on and on .....A nurse, a diabetic, I've lost over 130 lbs and have more to go . And I actually enjoy working out.
I chose the names of Ms. PJ Geek and PJ and Pounds because I have happy memories of childhood, coming in dirty and sweaty from playing in the yard. Then taking a bath, putting on a fresh nightgown and feeling all new again . I felt like a princess. Fresh renewal. .........
All names and situations will be changed to protect the innocent and the guilty, and so I can keep my job. While I am a nurse, I do not intend this to be a blog with specific directions or guidelines for healthcare. And.....though I have a college degree, that was a long time ago ya'll, and I don't remember proper punctuation or grammar.