Last week I took a fieldtrip with the 3rd grade from my children’s school to the Dare to Care food bank. I am the volunteer coordinator for our school’s service learning program and the 3rd grade’s focus on service is the Hungry. They have been learning all about hunger. This fieldtrip was a great way for them to learn so much more.
They toured the facility and learned that the food comes from donations from government grants, farmer’s surplus and people in our community. The food goes out to Churches and other local non-profit organizations. Then the food is given to the hungry of our community. The children enjoyed the tour, they were all weighed together on a huge scale they weighed 1,100 lbs all together. They were able to walk in a walk in freezer and they gave their own can goods to Dare to Care that day.
The best part of the fieldtrip was the service they were able to do while they were there. Yes, 8 year old kids can serve the hungry. Dare to Care set up an assembly line of food stations. Each child was given a bag and took 10 items ranging from veggies to breakfast foods in each bag. The children went through the assembly line 33 times each. These bags will be packed up and shipped off to different schools in the Louisville area to support the Back Pack Program. The children were told that 1 in 4 children go hungry in Louisville. Thank God for the free lunch and breakfast programs at the schools. That helps during the school week but what about the weekend? That is what the Back Pack program was designed to help. Teachers put the bag of food that our students put together in their back packs on Friday so that they have food for over the weekend.
The children were telling me “This is fun. We are helping the hungry and having fun at the same time!” If we can instill a need to help others and make the service or volunteering fun then our children will want to serve others. We talk about the problems but instead of letting those problems scare our children we give them ways to help solve the problems. 48 children just learned a little bit more about hunger and a lot about serving others with a grateful heart that day!