Six weeks from today I will be running the Big Sur Marathon in Big Sur, California. Like last year, my husband and I are signed up as a two person relay team. In 2014 I completed about 16 miles for our team. But, this year, I’m planning to start the race and my goal is to keep going after I complete my “leg” and run all the way to finish.
This is the point in training for a race where I begin to feel guilty and selfish for spending so much time running. This week I logged 23 miles. While I fit in most of my runs during the few hours while all three kids are at school each day, the time required for my upcoming longer runs is going to mean I need to spend more time running on the weekends. While I do feel bad sometimes setting aside my other responsibilities, I know that if I want to make the most of my race and have any chance of meeting my goal of finishing, I must put in the time. And, of course, I do spend the rest of the day catering to everyone else’s needs under my roof.
RUNNING FOR A CAUSE
But, this past week I have been called to use my running to do more. It’s time I began putting all this time and effort to a more meaningful purpose. That’s why I have to decided to run the Big Sur Marathon in part to raise money for a cause in which I believe. So today I’m asking for your support to help end childhood hunger.
Food provides me the fuel I need to power through long training runs and helps me build up the strength I require for races, not to mention the challenges I face as the mother of three. I am lucky and blessed to have the food I need to nourish myself and my family. It’s time for me to SHARE MY STRENGTH.
It is easy to forget that many families don’t have enough food to feed their children. I open up the refrigerator door to shelves full of food and grab a snack whenever I need it. One of my hobbies is whipping up concoctions in my kitchen to share with my family and friends. I am fortunate enough to be able to fill up my grocery cart every week, sometimes twice. I compare prices, but if I choose not to put something in my cart it is usually only because I don’t like the list of ingredients. Here’s me, fortuitous enough to be picking only organic, non-GMO, cage free, all natural foods when many families are having to pick between buying milk or eggs because they can’t afford both. I am ashamed to admit that, on occasion, I have even complained about having to go to the grocery store or about how I “hate putting them away at home even more.” I’m not proud of that. It is easy to forget in my bubble in the suburbs that not everyone is so lucky.
At our house, every school day we wake up and I rush around packing the kids lunches to meet all their picky desires and then I scurry around taking breakfast orders and filling them like a short order cook. I list off all their options, “Caroline, you need to tell me what you want so we’re not late! I have eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, cantaloupe. I could make you french toast or waffles.” My kids often don’t clear their plates and as I smash their leftovers down the disposal I begin my tirade about how there are starving kids in the world who don’t have food. The kids look at me in confusion because they have never gone a day without a meal. The fact that is sometimes forgotten is that, those starving kids (millions of them) are right here in our own country.
This week I’ve been imagining what’s it must be like as a parent to not have enough food to feed your child. These moms and dads must feel tremendous guilt sending their little ones out in the world without food in their belly to nourish and energize their body and enable their mind to learn. This is not just a problem in some far off third world country, it is happening right here. It is the reality for more than 16 million families here in the United States of America.
- More than 16 million children in America live in families who struggle to put food on the table. That’s 1 in 5!
- Nearly 22 percent of children in the US under the age of 18 live in poverty.
- Almost 25 percent of households in large cities with children are food insecure.
- 9.8 million kids get free or reduced meals at school. But 10.6 million eligible children go without.
- Hunger has a huge affect on how children perform in school. In fact 9 out of 10 teachers say having a healthy breakfast is key to academic achievement.
- School representatives in low income neighborhoods have discovered on student home visits, that in many cases families have no food in their homes.
- A child who doesn’t have food to eat isn’t going to perform as well in school and is, therefore, less likely to graduate from school or go on to college which will negatively impact her economic success in life.
THE SOLUTION – NO KID HUNGRY
- Share our Strength and No Kid Hungry works to ensure that every child has access to nutritious food where she lives, learns and plays.
- Their School Breakfast program provides children in need with a healthy breakfast at school each day helping them to thrive academically.
- Through its Cooking Matters program, the No Kid Hungry Campaign educates and empowers low income families to stretch their food budgets so their kids get healthy meals at home too. Cooking Matters participants learn to shop strategically, make healthier food choices and they are taught how to cook nutritious, affordable meals.
- Visit http://www.nokidhungry.org for more information.
It is time for us to SHARE OUR STRENGTH with these children who have so little.
Today I’m asking your support in my mission to help end childhood hunger in the US. When I run the Big Sur Marathon on April 26th I will be running to support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. Every $1 you give, will provide 10 children with a meal who would otherwise start their day without any food.
And for every dollar you help me raise, our family’s produce market will match it by donating the same amount in fresh fruits and vegetables to The Greater Cleveland Foodbank.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO HELP ME END CHILDHOOD HUNGER, PLEASE VISIT MY PERSONAL FUNDRAISING PAGE THROUGH SHARE OUR STRENGTH’S NO KID HUNGRY CAMPAIGN.
Let’s SHARE OUR STRENGTH.
Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your support!