Abbey is one of the nearly 1 in 5 kids who experience hunger every day in West Michigan.
Abbey loves school, her teachers and her friends, but she struggles to pay attention in school because she doesn’t always have food at home. She starts acting out in the classroom and begins to miss school altogether due to stress and illness. She struggles. She falls behind.
Without consistent access to nutritious foods, this cycle continues for Abbey as she reaches high school. She struggles to improve her grades, and eventually stops attending altogether. She begins searching for a job to help provide stability, which becomes increasingly harder without a diploma.
Abbey’s story is common across West Michigan, but what if we could rewind the story of her life back to those elementary years?
What if Abbey gets a Sack Supper at the end of each school day – a nutritious meal she can count on taking home? Abbey’s immediate hunger needs would be addressed through a meal with fresh fruits and vegetables; food her body and her mind need to properly develop. She’s also learning healthy habits that can shape her choices of food in the future.
Her evenings now look like a child’s should. She is able to focus on homework and play more with friends and family, fueled by her proper nutrition. Her overall health improves, her stress decreases, and she only misses a few days of school this year. She’s more attentive throughout the day and her grades improve. She has the energy she needs to thrive and unlock a world of future potential.
While a Sack Supper isn’t the only thing that helps kids like Abbey succeed, it’s a basic need at a critical time in her life. That Sack Supper allows her to focus on things that shape her future success, and not where her next meal will come from.
Without her Sack Supper – Abbey is hungry and this is a barrier to her ability to learn. She is getting sick more often than her peers and she is missing school and falling behind. This cycle of hunger deprives kids like Abbey of a quality education which is most likely their key to a path out of poverty. In a state with a 15.6% chronic absenteeism rate and a 9% high school dropout rate, it would be almost understandable to see Abbey becoming a statistic. Individuals who experience poverty as children are more likely to experience poverty as adults, are less likely to graduate high school and go on to secondary education, and are less likely to have a consistent job as young adults.
That’s not the life Abbey sees for herself. That’s not the life we see for Abbey either – will you help her overcome the barriers of poverty and achieve her dreams?