While participating in the Hunger in the Summer Project with odwalla , I remembered a time, before NY and I met and married, that my youngest son and I wondered on many occasions what we would eat for dinner that night. It had been a traumatic year and circumstances beyond our control that had our refrigerator looking like something out of a model home. A bottle of ketchup, a cube of butter and maybe half a gallon of milk. Literally. We relied on our Church welfare system to provide us with food. Close friends knew if we showed up at their door at dinner time … we were hungry. We were always warmly welcomed, and for that I am grateful.
When my children were very young we had a goal as a family to ‘not’ qualify for reduced lunch at school. But at the same time I was thankful for the program that helped me provide nutritious lunches for my children. Those children of mine are all grown up now with little ones of their own. Recently, while at our grand kids’ school for a story program, we were able to witness children arriving for breakfast in the cafeteria. It was ‘breakfast burrito’ morning which brought about many grins. I thought a lot about those children who would once again be lining up at lunch time to receive a hot nutritious meal. I thought back to when my children were benefiting from free/reduced meals at school. It tugged at my heart strings.
The Hunger in the Summer Project is sponsored by Champions for Kids and Odwalla. Their goal is to make sure low-income children continue to eat during the summer. I had no idea that 5 out of 6 children who receive free/reduced meals at school will go without meals during the summer. These families are financially burdened, if you will, more during the summer when their children are not receiving meals at school. It’s abolutely heartbreaking. I’m grateful we had the opportunity to participate with Champions for Kids and odwalla to provide nutritious food for needy children in our community.
We gathered our grandchildren into the car and headed off to Walmart to shop for odwalla kid bars and juice boxes. We wanted to help our grands appreciate what they have and feel good about giving to others who may have less. With our list in hand, and pushing more than one market basket, our adventure began.
It was evident throughout Walmart that summer is near. Red, white and blue greeted us just inside the door in celebration of Memorial Day. People were filling their baskets with food to grill and snacks for the big holiday weekend ahead that signals the start of the summer season.
We shopped all over the store before we found the odwalla bars. They’re located in the fresh bakery section. The odwalla bars seem to be very popular, too. There were shelf labels for a large variety of choices, but most were sold out.
Our goal was to purchase Odwalla Juices Boxes along with Odwalla Kid Bars. Due to their popularity at our particular Walmart Super Center the juice boxes were all sold out. So we purchased eight boxes of the Odwalla Berries GoMega Superfood bars.
Although we were disappointed we weren’t able to find Odwalla Juice Boxes, we found a plethora of healthy natural juices to choose from. We also filled our baskets with a whole lot more than what was on our shopping list. But isn’t that the way it always is when shopping with grandchildren?
The boys are champion bargain shoppers. Wow! Austin found a copy of a favorite family film, Secondhand Lions, for only five dollars.
There’s always more to see and do before getting out the door with the grands. What do you think Cody chose?
The grands agreed with us … knowing we were filling the trunk of our car with awesome food for needy children felt very good. Heart-warming good.
Kudos to Champions for Kids and Odwalla for their brilliant Hunger in Summer simple service project. It’s brilliant and easy to participate. A perfect feel-good way for children and adults to start off the summer by helping children less fortunate.
We chose to donate the odwalla bars and the juice packages to HOPE, a local food bank in our valley. We’ve know about it for years and previous donations have been through food and clothing drives. This was our first time actually visiting the facility in person.
Because it’s only open three days a week for three hours a day, the grands weren’t able to go with to deliver the donation. I was expecting a small market setting much like I was familiar with at our Church’s Store House. While their were several people leaving HOPE with carts of bagged food, and more awaiting their turn, we were privy only to the small lobby area.
On the lobby wall was the above quote, encouraging willing charity of mind and heart among us.
You can read and see our entire shopping and donation experience in our Goggle+ Album.
Thank you Collective Bias, Champions for Kids and Odwalla for the opportunity to participate in the Hunger for Summer project. All photos (with the exception of the Odwalla and Champions for Kids logos), opinions, experiences and grandchildren are our own and may not be used without written permission.