Monthly Archives: November 2013

“Love thy Neighbor” food sharing is Sunday. Then what?

(Read all the posts in this series about food insecurity. Click “like” at the bottom, and you will get them automatically.)

“Love thy Neighbor” food sharing is Sunday.

Then what? 

This Sunday, Nov. 24, many UUCA members will bring food to donate. 

They have shopped for 100 food insecure families in the Old Fourth Ward community.  We’ll pack the food in cardboard boxes, and drive the boxes downtown.  Families will pick the food up from our partner, Operation PEACE.

But, Promise the Children advocates always keep in mind:  This project is not an end;  it must be a beginning.  Even though this is a large food sharing project, next month, the families will be hungry again.

So. What’s next?

It’s pretty exciting! 

On Thursday, December 5,  UUCA will help City Councilman Kwanza Hall host  a “Community Conversation about Food Insecurity in the Old Fourth Ward.”  (10:00 a.m – noon, Fort Street Methodist, 562 Boulevard Ave.)

We expect this will be the first of several conversations aimed at identifying the gaps between all our good intentions and people who still lack adequate food.

If food insecurity is an issue you care about, let us know. We’re building UUCA group to work with the large and varied group  in the Old Fourth Ward – a long-term food project.  

If you have an interest, let us know… this is NOT committing you to DOING anything!  Email PromiseTheChildren@uuca.org.

More  Background:

Food Insecurity.  It means people who don’t have regular access to enough nourishing food for a healthy, active life.

In the Old Fourth Ward, food insecurity isn’t just some fancy words… It lives and breathes; it haunts many residents.

We are concerned about the children who are doing poorly in school because they do not get enough food or the right kind of food at home.

We are concerned about our elders whose often limited incomes and limited mobility to make it hard for them to get enough nourishing food.

There are questions we want to ask:

          –   What is the extent to which hunger is  a problem in the Old Fourth Ward           neighborhood? 

          – What  groups are helping with food and nutrition in our area?  How successful are we being at helping people keep food on their tables?

          – What is missing; where are the gaps? 

          – What can we do together, pooling our efforts,  to bring more food nourishing food to citizens in the Old Fourth Ward? 

Who will be attending the “Conversation about Food Insecurity”? 

          – People who have the experience of not getting enough to eat at the end of the month, when SNAP benefits have run out.

          – Schools, day care centers and senior centers where hungry people gather.

          -And the organizations that provide food – from the food bank to the local churches that serve hot meals.

UUCA’s Role: 

UUCA has worked in the Old Fourth Ward for two decades at Hope-Hill Elementary School. We provide tutors, after school clubs, and other resources that the school lacks. 

For the last two years, UUCA has built a coalition with other churches and neighborhood organizations to make sure that most Hope-Hill students attend summer enrichment programs that feed both their minds and their bodies.

Through a broad community coalition, UUCA will be supporting  a larger  conversation about how to increase the amount of nutritious food  for families of Hope-Hill Elementary children and for the elderly who live in the area.

 

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November 18, 2013 · 4:13 pm

Here’s where our food sharing project stands as of Monday, Nov. 11:

Food Insecurity – #4 in a series (Read all the posts about food insecurity. Click “like” at the bottom, and you will get them automatically.  )

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“Love thy Neighbor – especially when s/he is hungry”

 

“Will there be enough food for dinner tonight?” 

 

Imagine you are a mom, and you don’t know if you will have enough food for yourc hildren’s  next meal. This is food insecurity. 

Among the children at Hope-Hill Elementary, FOOD INSECURITY is a living, breathing factor of daily life. 

 

 

 Here’s where our food sharing project

stands as of Monday, Nov. 11: 

 Shoppers: We have about 60 families covered so far.  We’re going for 130….  70 more to go.  (Remember, while you are shopping for one family, you could shop for several!)  

Cash Donations:  As of today, we have about $1100 in cash donations.  We need about  $1800.  (Remember you can donate any amount, not just $20!)

Packers:  We have enough packers.  But here’s what we can promise you. If you bring your food bags on Sunday, Nov. 24, your children will be able to put the food they brought into a food box and see it head for the delivery truck. 

 

 Here’s how to participate. Let us hear from you by Thursday, please.  

 Opportunity 1: Be a Thanksgiving elf!

 You and your family can sign up to shop for Thanksgiving items for one Bedford Pine family. You’ll get a grocery list of items to purchase for no more than $20While you are shopping, sign up to shop for several families!  You can drop off your food on Sunday, November 24, or alternatively, Sunday, Nov. 17 or Wed., Nov. 20

Register here to shop for groceries.

 Opportunity 2: Make Thanksgiving dinner a feast! 

If you want to help, but cannot shop, you can make a cash donation. We need to raise some cash to purchase the hams or chickens for all those boxes!  It’s FINE to donate more than $20!!!   

Register here to donate money.

If you want to help UUCA explore how to DO MORE about Food Insecurity, we want to know you!!!  

Drop a note to: PromiseTheChildren@uuca.org 

 

On Sunday, November 24, UUCA members will pack and deliver 130 boxes of Thanksgiving and other food to families living in Bedford Pine,

a low-income community that is home  to a large number of children

who go to Hope-Hill.

 This project is being coordinated by UUCA/s Promise the Children Advocacy and Action Group

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HHES Career Forum: Speakers Needed!

Hope-Hill Elementary School (HHES) is having a Career Forum for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades on Wednesday, November 20th from 8:30 – 11:45 AM.  Angela Fortson, School Counselor, says the goal of the Forum is to introduce the kids to a wide variety of career choices and to motivate them to excel. 

What a great opportunity for UUCA members/friends to create an awareness of career possibilities for HHES kids and to motivate them to work hard to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.

Professionals, technical experts, and crafts/trades-people from all careers paths are encouraged to participate.  Two speakers will be assigned to each classroom per grade level. The speakers will rotate to three classes. Each speaker will have 15 minutes and will be on a 30 minute rotation. The Career Forum will end no later than 11:45 AM. Speakers are asked to be at the school by 8:30 AM.

Please call Ms. Fortson at 678-427-4423 or send her an e-mail at afortson@atlanta.k12.ga.us and let her know of your interest in being a speaker for the Career Forum.

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Filed under Events, Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence

How is Hunger Affecting Students at Hope-Hill Elementary?

Food Insecurity – #3 in a series (Read all the posts about food insecurity. Click “like” at the bottom, and you will get them automatically.  )

How is Hunger

Affecting Students

at Hope-Hill Elementary?

 ( Remember to Participate in UUCA’s Thanksgiving “Love Thy Neighbor” Food Project.  https://promisethechildrenatuuca.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/food-insecurity-1/

 First, a significant number of Hope-Hill students come to school hungry:

 From a  teacher at Hope-Hill:

 “Joy, I have had your initiative on my mind all week.  I love that your church is considering working on Food insecurity.  This is a worth-while effort , and that  Hope-Hill will benefit is a true blessing. 

 “One of the issues I have recognized since my arrival is that a great many of our children come into the school day with anger and discomfort.  A good bit of that is because they are hungry.  They did not get breakfast at home that morning and/or they got no dinner the night before. 

 “I can tell you that I could identify, right now, at least five students are regularly hungry in the fifth grade where I teach, and that’s probably a modest number.”

 ______________________________

How does being hungry affect Hope-Hill Children?

 Child hunger is an educational problem.

 •   Hungry children do more poorly in school and have lower academic achievement because they cannot concentrate.

 • Hungry children have more social and behavioral problems because they feel bad, have less energy for complex social interactions.

 • Hungry children ages 0-3 years cannot learn as much, as fast, or as well, because chronic poor nutrition harms their cognitive development during this period of rapid brain growth. This affects them for life. 

 •  Hungry children are sick more often, and more likely to have to be hospitalized (the costs of which are passed along to the taxpayers). ( from Atlanta Community Food Bank website)

 Being Food Insecure.  It haunts the 658 children in Bedford Pine

There are 658 children under 18 who live in  Bedford Pine  –   many of whom attend Hope-Hill school. Their mothers are mostly single, mostly young and almost all very poor.  Nourishing food at end of month and on weekends (when there is no school) is in very short supply.

Food Insecurity.  Defined as:The limited or uncertain availability of enough food, and nutritionally adequate foods for an active, healthy life.  or “People who aren’t sure whether they’ll have food for dinner tonight.”

__________________________

In the coming days, our PTC Food Insecurity posts will consider: Hunger 101- Why people in Bedford Pine are hungry. The Hows and Whys of SNAP.  A Challenge to live a week on SNAP.  Sources of food for food insecure people. What will we do to change it.

Please follow along, and please, let the subject of food insecurity be a topic of conversation with family and friends and colleagues around you!

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November 7, 2013 · 9:07 pm

Who is hungry in Bedford Pine?

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Food Insecure – unable to afford enough food for a healthy life.

In this month of Thanksgiving, UUCA is undertakinga BIG food sharing program ( think of 130 food boxes – a pile 10 ft. long x 4 ft. wide x 5ft high… BIG!!)  This is a project for all and we want you to help!  Details at https://promisethechildrenatuuca.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/food-insecurity-1/

The food we collectwill go to families in the Bedford Pine neighborhood in the Old Fourth Ward.  Very many of the Hope-Hill Elementary students UUCA members tutor live in this very poor neighborhood. 

But, you may ask, WHO is hungry in Bedford Pine? 

 We talked to friends at Operation PEACE who live and work in the area and who know the families well…

“Bedford Pine isa federally subsidized housing project with 689 units and 1368 occupants.  Bedford Pine covers 17 city blocks starting at Boulevard & Wabash Ave to Ponce De Leon Ave.  From Parkway Dr & Wabash Ave to Ponce De Leon.

“EVERYONE who lives here is poor99% of the Bedford Pine families  have income below $10,000.00 yearly,  the Federal category of extreme poverty. 

“Here is what a  typical family faces in Bedford Pine Apartments:

“Megan Berry, who has been looking for employment since June of 2012, is a typical family in Bedford Pine. She has three children and receives $330.00 monthly in AFDC benefits.  For her four-member family Megan also receives $668.00 in SNAP benefits (food stamps). Since she is actively looking for employment, $120.00 out of the $330.00 in AFDC benefits goes back to the government towards child care expenses. (AFDC – Aid to Families with Dependent Children)

“Because SNAP benefits were cut this month (Nov), the Berry family will get $36.00 less.  That means four fewer meals for her and her three children, which of course, will result in little or no healthy food. 

“Megan is typical.  The majority of our residents receive food stamps. They are all  people struggling to put healthy food on their tables,“ explained Edna Moffitt, director of Operation PEACE.

 

Food Insecurity.  Defined as:The limited or uncertain availability of enough food, and nutritionally adequate foods for an active, healthy life.  or “People who aren’t sure whether they’ll have food for dinner tonight.”

Being Food Insecure.  It haunts about 20%  of our neighbors in Atlanta. It haunts MOST of the people who live in  Bedford Pine.  It is a way of life for very many of the children who attend Hope-Hill school.

In the coming days, our PTC Food Insecurity posts will consider: Hunger 101- Why people in Bedford Pine are hungry. The Hows and Whys of SNAP.  A Challenge to live a week on SNAP.  Sources of food for food insecure people. What will we do to change it.

Please follow along, and please, let the subject of food insecurity be a topic of conversation with family and friends and colleagues around you!

Here is a link to a 5 minute PBS story that reveals the struggle to eat and live on minimum wage.  It is excellent.  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nation/july-dec13/minimumwage_11-04.html

 

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Filed under Help for Homeless and Struggling Families, Uncategorized