A Constructive Solution for Hungry Children by Robin Trimingham
How easy to you find it to say no to one of your grandchildren? Probably impossible if they are asking for a coloring book or cuddles I would venture to suppose.
But what if they are hungry? I mean really hungry, because their parents aren’t making ends meet and its summer vacation and the school lunch program that they have been depending on for breakfast and lunch isn’t operating for the next ten weeks.
How do you stand looking into their little eyes and deny them a meal, because you yourself are struggling to afford both your medications and a few groceries each week? Of course you want to help them, but if you don’t get your medications, how will you stay healthy enough to care for them while their parents work whatever jobs they can find?
It’s not how any of us want to spend the final phase of our lives – you are supposed to be able to spoil your grandchildren; and yet it is a reality that too many older people are struggling with, particularly in isolated communities where the usual social service organizations either don’t exist, or are too far away to be helpful.
After all, what can one older person possibly do on their own to make life better for children too small to help themselves?
It seemed to be a problem with no solution until one retired great grandmother in Washington State decided she had had enough.
Tired of standing by and watching children suffer during the summer vacation, Phyllis Shaughnessy founded a program which makes and delivers bag lunches to the remote homes where children in her area live, five days a week when school is not in session.
Today her program has grown to also include a go-fund-me page, a roster of volunteers, a food bank, and a weekend program that also operates during the school year (not just the summertime) for a list of families that are struggling the most.
When asked why this program became her passion, Phyllis commented that “There is something special about meeting a child at his door and giving him a smile, a lunch and a loving touch. It makes sense in this world of turmoil.”
There’s nothing like applying a little old fashioned common sense to a situation to come up with a constructive solution to a situation, and if that fails, there is always the internet.
Not the kind of thing you’re likely to find on Snapchat mind you, but doing a search on Facebook for “summer lunch program” would be a great way to learn about what others are doing.
Got a problem in your area that needs fixing? Why not share it with the Olderhood community – we’ll put our 75,000 heads together and come up with a few suggestions.
By Robin Trimingham