Elementary school was a simpler time in life. For me, the most challenging part of elementary school was learning my spelling words. For some of the children at Amidon-Bowen Elementary school, the challenges they face are much more real.
Hunger is a serious problem in the District of Columbia, and organizations like Martha’s Table are out to change that. Martha’s Table is dedicated to helping those in need receive food and education to help alleviate hunger, especially child hunger.
When we arrived at Amidon-Bowen the staff from Martha’s Table already had volunteers hard at work opening boxes of yogurt, oatmeal, soup, pasta, cranberry sauce, and bagging fresh fruit, vegetables and frozen turkeys. We jumped right in and started organizing the food into stations based on food groups, which would later play into the education part of the distribution. We tried to make the food appear as it would at a grocery store, organized by product and variety, and in straight rows, so the recipients would feel that they had choices, and weren’t just receiving a hand out.
As the families began to file in we didn’t simply hand over bags of food. We engaged with the families by discussing their different options, asked the children questions about what food groups they already had in their bags, what their favorite meal was and joked about how nobody really likes cranberry sauce (or at least I don’t). You could see on their faces that they were grateful not only for the food, but for treating them as people.
The holidays are a time to appreciate what you have, but for those in need this time of year , they can be a reminder of what you don’t have. During the short two hours that we helped distribute food that will help families provide a full Thanksgiving meal, it was clear that we were making a difference in these people’s lives. Everyone may need help once in a while, and knowing that we were able to help dozens of families in Southwest Washington was a great way to spend our 3rd Day of Giving.