It Takes a SIMPLE Kind of Belief
In America, it is assumed that child hunger is a PERMANENT social ill that no one (individual or group) can properly address. Like poor health, it is something that is brought upon the individual by his or her actions. Hunger comes from poverty which is the RESULT of financial mismanagement. To ask the government to address child hunger is to ask amiss. Hunger and poverty is something the individual citizen must address.
This idea is born from how we Americans view individual motivation. We believe the pain a person feels when the lure of material wealth and social success is presented is greater than the pain of financial discipline. Given a choice, no sane human being is going to spend all of his or her money; they will develop the strength to save some of it and put it towards a desired aim or goal.
However, if you are a child, with no means (or permission) of economic activity, how do you access the American Dream? How do you feel your belly with the appropriate nutrients to absorb the education necessary to SEE and ACCESS the opportunity present in America?
For this to occur, someone with a heart BIGGER than themselves has to step in and provide the necessary intervention. In America, this is done primarily by School Districts. Mind you, it took something called the GREAT DEPRESSION to even inspire such public policy. (I will not go into how in the Ancient world that food and military defense were the primarily services provided by the government for citizens.) To this day, the IDEA of feeding people is considered local charity, not proper public policy.
In November 2009, Mr. George Bell, who is a cook by nature and trade, went against mainstream thought and started to feed children in the Mountain View neighborhood (Anchorage, Alaska.) He started inside the Boys and Girls Club. He asked the Director, Dave Barney, to assist him. Dave, who possesses a Masters in Social Work, did what comes natural to him and told a few influential friends of George Bell’s actions – not his words. You see, George started where he was and began to feed children out of his own pocket!
Mind you, George did not know the great majority of the 1,154 children hungry in Mountain View. Nor is he apart of a service-based organization that operates inside of Mountain View. Something EXTRAORDINARY – something that does not believe in the “best business practices” of Corporate America or the “political reality” of the election cycle – motivated George Bell to do something as simple as ACTUALLY addressing the problem of child hunger in Mountain View. If you ask George why he started feeding children, he will make reference to his faith in Jesus.
I – Kokayi Nosakhere – am asking you to go against the grain. I am asking you to disregard how and what the majority of (influential) Americans think. I am asking you to do something that you may not have done so far in this life. I am asking you to believe – like George Bell – that you can change the world.
I am going to say something radical: to change the world, all you have to do is BELIEVE that you can. This belief is demonstrated in continuous action towards a worthy goal.
George Bell led to Dave Barney. Dave Barney led to Kokayi Nosakhere. Kokayi Nosakhere led to Don Burrell Jr. Don Burrell Jr. led to a board and a 501 c3 in less than 14 months. This legislative session Children’s Meal Mission petitioned the State Legislature for $60,000 and is receiving $75,000. It projects a summer meal count of 20,000 meals.
Because someone BELIEVED the impossible was/is indeed possible, 1,154 children have a fighting chance to actually absorb the education being offered in the two elementary schools and junior high built in their neighborhood.
America should thank George Bell and all those who think like he does. I know the children who flow pass the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club kitchen do. They do so three times a day.
Have you made your contribution to the (so-called) impossible dream of ending child hunger in America by 2015? All you have to do is: 1) Take a picture with a cardboard sign that reads END CHILD HUNGER and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. 2) Conduct a peanut butter drive – see tab on this blog – and donate it to your local Food Bank. 3) Add your time, talent and energy to the anti-hunger network. How do you do that? 4) Politically support the reality of FOOD being apart of the American school experience. It is called Universal School Breakfast and Lunch. Vote for those who desire to make this a reality in your city and state. 5) Increase participation among your peers in after-school snack and backpack buddies programs. 6) Imitate George Bell and feed children in your area.
Thank you ACTING on these few words. I believe the 19.5 million children our government currently counts as hungry deserve to be fed.