Campbell UMC Tackles Hunger at Rosemary School
May 25, 2012
By Dave Foyle, Campbell UMC Outreach Committee
Since March of this year, a dozen volunteers from Campbell (California) United Methodist Church have been conducting a "Healthy Snack" program at Rosemary Elementary School, located just around the corner from the church.
Rosemary Elementary School has a predominantly Hispanic student body, and the school primarily serves lower-income families. In the Healthy Snack program, volunteers from Campbell UMC provide nutritious snacks to the kindergarten-through-fifth grade students twice a week, during morning recess. Snacks are paid for by donations from individual members of Campbell UMC and from Campbell UMC endowment funds.
The Healthy Snack program was launched after Rosemary School Principal Edna Laskin told Sue Foyle, of Campbell UMC's Church and Society Committee, that although many students are provided with state-subsidized lunches, they frequently arrive at school hungry. It makes mornings a difficult time to concentrate on learning, when their stomachs are rumbling because they didn't get any breakfast!
Some schools do have subsidized breakfast programs, but not Rosemary School (due to insufficient numbers of participants). And the reality of busy Silicon Valley life is that in homes of working single parents – or where both parents are working – it just isn't possible, always, for parents to get grade school students to school in time for a subsidized breakfast, at the required early hour of 7:30 a.m.! Campbell UMC's Healthy Snack program at Rosemary School helps to fill the gap – making sure that these grade school students can get their morning hunger pains eliminated so that they can concentrate on their classroom studies.
The program has been well received by both Rosemary School staff and, of course (!) the students. One teacher said, "You don't know what a difference you are making. One morning, one of the young boys told me he was hungry, but I had to tell him that I didn't have anything for him to eat. But then we remembered that it was 'Healthy Snack Day.' He was all smiles and excited that he could get something to eat at morning recess!"
Students not only give "pleases" and "thank yous" for the snacks, but also have been known to initiate "group hugs" to the Campbell UMC volunteers, to show their appreciation.
Campbell UMC truly is making a difference in these young lives!