4 Amazing Kids You Have to Know About
Hunger in America today is a big problem. It is a tragedy. In this land of wealth, many people do not have enough to eat on a daily basis. Those who suffer the most are young children and older people.
East Tennessee is no different.
Right Here in Our Midst Are People Who Go Hungry Daily
During this school year, the students at the Stanford Eisenberg Knoxville Jewish Day School have studied what it means for people who do not have enough to eat. They also have studied various creative ways which are being taken locally to eliminate this problem.
One of these is Knoxville and Knox County Community Action Committee’s Mobile Meals program. This program provides meals at lunch time form Monday through Friday for people at least 60 years of age who cannot cook for themselves and have no one to prepare meals for them.
Avi Wanted to Go One Step Further
One of the students, Avi, a 6-year-old boy, wanted to go one step further. He wanted to deliver meals to people who have signed up for the Mobile Meals program. Cora and Chanie, two girls from his school, said they wanted to join him. Cora is 10 and Chanie is 6. Avi’s four-year-old friend, Arthur, said he wanted to join the 3 of them on this great adventure.
One day during their Spring Break, they delivered meals. Avi’s mother and Cora’s dad joined them that day. All six of them arrived at the Mobile Meals kitchen between 9 and 10 in the morning.
First on the agenda was an Orientation session about the Mobile Meals program and the people who receive meals each weekday. Next, they got to see how the meals were cooked and packaged for each recipient. They then saw the meals being placed in coolers for delivery.
After This, They Formed Two Groups and Delivered Meals
Avi’s mom took Avi and Arthur with her. Cora’s dad took Cora and Chanie with him. The routes they were given were well organized. All of the people who received meals on the routes lived fairly close to each other.
Cora, Chanie and Cora’s dad delivered 25 meals. Avi, Arthur and Avi’s mom actually had two routes. They delivered 23 meals on one. The other took them to Northgate Terrace, a senior apartment complex, where they delivered 19 or 20 meals to residents there.
Most of the volunteers who normally deliver these meals every day are older people.
Imagine How Surprised Those Receiving Meals Were . . .
. . . when they responded to a knock on their door and opened it to see a young child there with their meal.
I think you’ll agree with me, older people really enjoy seeing young children. They get excited seeing them playing with others or even out with their parents. It was no different here. Many were delighted these young children delivered their meals to them. Some even expressed their gratitude in different ways.
One woman told them it was her 70th birthday. She was grateful she had the opportunity to celebrate it with these young children.
Arthur brought along stickers of Easter bunnies with him. As Avi gave each person their meal, Arthur gave them a sticker.
At Northgate Terrace, they told the people they would be finished delivering meals soon. They added when they finished, they would be outside playing. They invited the people to join them. Some took them up on this and came outside to spend time with them.
You may not be aware.
Many of Those Receiving These Meals Have No Other Contact with Any Other People Most Days
They are totally isolated. That leads to loneliness and depression.
The regular volunteers they see daily cheer them up but don’t have much time to spend with them. Think about how different it was for these people when they opened their doors and saw a young child with a meal for them. This was something they never expected. Their day suddenly got brighter.
Avi, Arthur, Cora and Chanie Also Benefitted from Their Experience
They learned more about the hunger than what they studied. They also got to help people in need – most not as fortunate as they are. They also got to make many people happy that day.
That day had a profound impact on each of them. For quite a while, they talked about the people they met and their experience. They can’t wait until they have another chance to deliver meals again.
This experience also had a great impact on Avi’s mom and Cora’s dad, the children’s guides on this great adventure. They saw how a simple Mobile Meals program is having a significant impact on people in need.
Cora’s dad said he never thought much about hunger and the way a Mobile Meals program helped the hungry in the area until that day. This was something far from his mind.
He thought the city and county government took care of this need. He didn’t realize all of the work in preparing and delivering the meals was done by people who didn’t work for the government. He never realized all of those who delivered the meals were volunteers.
He suddenly realized the people receiving these meals benefitted not only from the meals they received but also the interaction they had with the volunteers who delivered them. He also saw how the volunteers became friends with the people they were serving. They brightened their days.
As you have been reading this, you may be thinking you have some time available. You might be interested in becoming a volunteer in the Mobile Meals program.
Well, You’re in Luck.
The Mobil Meals program is looking for volunteers. If you’re interested in helping others and appreciating the satisfaction you will get from that, this is the right program for you. You can do this on your schedule. You might choose to deliver meals once a week once a month or as often as your schedule permits.
How Much Time Does It Take?
Mobile Meals are delivered between 10 am and 1 pm every day Monday through Friday. The time a volunteer spends varies. Some routes take an hour. Others take two.
A Great Adventure for Your Children and Grandchildren
When your children or grandchildren are off from school, you may want to invite them to join you on your route. They will learn about hunger and one way the problem is being addressed locally.
They will also get to experience the joy of helping someone less fortunate. There is an added bonus for you – In the process, you will build a deeper relationship with them.
To get more information about becoming a volunteer, please call 865- 524-2786.
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