Children all over the world go hungry every day. Determined to stop this from happening in their institution, the J.C. Lynch Elementary School found a solution.
Students at the elementary school in the United States receive a bag full of food and goodies once a week to see them through the weekend.
The Help 4 Kids Florence Bags, fondly named ‘Friday Bags’, ensure children at the school are fed while they are away from school.
“Our kids are always excited to receive their bags on Friday afternoons,” one teacher told SC Now. “It lets them know that someone cares about them.”
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Currently, 86 pupils at the school receive the bags, which provide them with sufficient food for meals and snacks on Saturday and Sunday.
The Help 4 Kids Florence charity works with schools all over the area. Children who are considered ‘at-risk’ are identified by school administrators before a permission slip is sent to families.
The bags are funded through the charity, so it comes at no cost to the schools and families involved. The food bags are put together by volunteers and then delivered to the schools before they are handed discreetly to the children.
The Help 4 Kids Florence website states: “Each week hundreds of children come to school on Monday morning hungry, irritable and not ready to learn because they had no food on the weekend while they were home.”
The bags are designed for the child individually but SC Now spoke to children at the school and discovered many are sharing.
One little boy shares his Friday Bag with his little sister.
“I want to share what I have with her,” he said. “It makes her smile!”
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One student regularly receives Vienna sausages in his food bag which he chooses the share with his father.
“I love it when he puts them in the microwave, and then we have hot sausages together,” the child told SC News.
Many students detailed ‘special places’ for their bags. Some pupils have a special home for it in the pantry or kitchen, while others store it in a cabinet shelf.
One student keeps his bag hidden. Often he stashes it away in his closet or shoves it under his bed.
When asked why, he said: “Sometimes my little brother will eat all my noodles, or my sister will eat my Pop Tart!”
However, the child was not fazed.
“I think it’s funny and I share with them anyway,” he said.
The Friday Bags aren’t only bringing joy and full bellies to the students, but are also spreading the same to their loved ones.
The Friday Bags both “nourish the students” and “provide [them] with opportunities to provide for others close to them,” said the school’s Principal Matt Scandrol.