Two little girls just took on hunger in their own backyard and won, so they reached out to fight it in a larger arena. This is a story worth telling, and one everyone needs to see.
In one of the richest countries in the world, you wouldn’t think providing school lunches would be a problem. Thirty-million lunches are served every day, but many kids still come up short for lunch money. Stories of “lunch shaming,” have appeared on social media, where kids are forced to have their hands stamped to remind parents they owe lunch money.
There are stories of kids forced to clean in front of peers, and even of lunches being thrown away if they can’t pay. Some kids have learned that not having lunch money could result in the “cheese sandwich of shame,” a cold meal served to kids with no funds.
Now, consider the uplifting story of Second-grade student Amiah Van Hill from Hayden, Idaho. She and her little sister have determined that they would take matters into their own hands, starting a lemonade stand to pay off the school lunch debt for their entire district. They call the project, “LEMONADE 4 LUNCH.”
— Infinite Fire Org. (@InfiniteFireOrg) September 16, 2017
She started with the idea of paying off the balance of other families at her school, raising 40 dollars. It was a success, and she was able to pay down the debt at other local elementary schools too. Now she has her eyes set on the goal of raising the $23K needed to help the whole district. She currently is at $6,785 on the GoFundMe page.
The idea came when Amiah’s mother, Rachel Van Hill, read her a story about a dad in Seattle who raised money to pay off school lunch debt in Washington state.
Amiah seems to really enjoy helping her classmates, while her little sister does “quality control.” Rachel told the Huffington Post, “If it was up to her she would do the lemonade stand every single day.”
Rachel reads the comments on their GoFundMe page to her daughter:
“I read every single message to Amiah so she knows what kind of impact her passion is providing,” she said.
— CdaSchools (@CdaSchools) September 12, 2017
At the end of the week, they take the money to the district Nutrition Services office. In addition to helping hungry kids, the money they pay prevents money from having to be removed from the district’s general funding. They are setting an amazing example while helping all the kids in their district.
Speaking of kindness, or the lack thereof, school lunches can become a political issue: The newly minted secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue, is vowing to roll back some of the school-lunch rules established by the Obama administration. Even so, the quality of school lunches reportedly appears to overall be improving.
The New York Times reported:
The Trump administration has also called for a 21 percent cut to the Department of Agriculture budget, which could severely curtail school food funding and individual programs that pay for new kitchen equipment and fresh, local fruit and vegetables.
Fortunately, stories like little girls creating Lemonade 4 Lunch remind us that kindness and compassion can still win out in the end –one small act of kindness and creativity at a time.
Featured image via screen capture from GoFundMe