“We start the summer off as strangers and end it as friends” — Marlene Maffei, Food for Thought, Executive Director
Here, in the richest country in the world, 15.8 million children under the age of 18 live with food insecurity. These children go to bed hungry, attend school with empty bellies, and live their lives worrying about when they are going to eat next.
The impacts of food insecurity particularly affect the youngest of our society. Children under the age of two suffer from delayed development, poorer attachment, and learning difficulties as a result of food insecurity. School age children may experience a variety of behavioral problems such as fighting, hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, mood swings, and bullying.
On August 14, Carson City’s Food for Thought (FFT) concluded its Summer Food Service Program for a fourth successful year. The program served food insecure children ages 2-18 for 55 days this summer. FFT served the lunches at the Park Terrace Park on La Loma Drive and the Bridge Church located on Stewart St. On average, 85 children were served daily totaling over 4,500 lunches. FFT had more than 600 hours of volunteer help run the program. Both Supervisors Bagwell and Abowd logged some of those hours. FFT also received a Community Service Support Grant from Carson City.
In July and August, the Brewery Arts Center (BAC) provided a mobile art in the park program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The children were always excited with anticipation to see the new activities provided by the BAC. Along with the BAC, Girl Scout Troop No. 548 also participated in various activities with the children.
On the last day of the program, FFT and Greater Nevada Credit Union provided approximately 80 backpacks filled with essential school supplies.
The summer program is more than feeding children. The children looked forward to FFT’s daily arrival knowing they were safe and mattered. The children eagerly helped FFT volunteers set up at the beginning of the day and pack up at the end of the day. “We start the summer off as strangers and end it as friends,” said Marlene Maffei, Executive Director of FFT.
Food for Thought is making a difference, one meal at a time. If you’re interested in helping to end hunger, please take a moment to reach out to your local FFT or food bank.
Neil A. Rombardo is a member of the FFT Board of Directors. For more information, visit nvfoodforthought.org.