Blog Feature: Give a Free Lunch
Have you ever been hungry? I don’t mean stomach growling after not eating for a few hours hungry… I mean hungry hungry! Like not knowing where your next meal was coming from or not knowing how you were going to get it. Like so hungry that you would eat anything that you could find, anywhere you could find it… even if that meant getting other people’s leftovers out of the trash.
I know that I have never been to that point. I thank God that I haven’t. But I know a few people that have and possibly still are. I remember them coming to school and the cafeteria lunch was the only food that was certain for them.
The organization that I’m featuring today is one that touched my heart and you’ll see why.
Check out these statistics of the real hungry:
One out of six children — roughly 100 million — in developing countries is underweight.
children each year each year die from poor nutrition and causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five children each year.
needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school-age children.
every year children are born malnourished due to a mother’s lack of nutrition before and during pregnancy. When a mother is undernourished during pregnancy, the baby is often born undernourished, too.
The organization that I am featuring today dubs these statistics UNACCEPTABLE!
I’d like to introduce you to a few kids… that’s right! I said kids!
Meet these four siblings on a mission:
Issabella Jane Patel
a.k.a. Bella Bella or Issy
(I see people on the street who are hungry and I think it’s not right. How can I help them and how can I especially help any kids out there who are hungry? I’m in grade 4 and I’m
the oldest in the family (by two minutes!) and love my family. I also love being silly and laughing loudly!
Amelia Jane Patel
a.k.a. Milly or Mi-lala
If I don’t eat, I don’t feel good. I don’t think anyone should have to be hungry. If I can help people, maybe they won’t feel bad any more. I’m in grade 3 and love school. I also love my puppy, Duncan.
Kaeden James Patel
a.k.a. K.J. or K.K.
I am trying hard to eat healthy. I want others to be able to eat good food too. I’m the little brother! My sisters try to keep up with me but I’m too fast! I’m in grade 1 and learning how to write.
Mackenzie Jane Patel
a.k.a. Mackie-Z or Kenzie
Give A Free Lunch is something I really want to do. I don’t understand why some people don’t get to eat. It’s not fair and I get so hungry sometimes, I don’t want other people to feel like that.
I love reading (especially Roald Dahl) and I’m in grade 4.
Here’s their story:
“In the summer of 2014 our favorite nanny, Alix, took us on a journey to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital. We spent the day making chocolate brownies and a lemonade stand. Which ended with us on Kitsilano Beach and we sold out in 20 minutes. We raised $31.91 that afternoon. Giving back was fun and rewarding.
After sharing and talking through many ideas, we watched a TED Talk about ending hunger now by Josette Sheeran and we knew that food is that place where our collective efforts can have the greatest impact.
We created Give A Free Lunch so we could educate and fundraise for nutritious meals for kids who wouldn’t otherwise get one. We invested our Christmas gift from Nana and Grandad – which was $100 each, to kick start the project! (thanks, Nana & Grandad!!!!) Our parents also invested $100 each, giving us $600 to kick start our lifelong campaign to serve 1 billion lunches.
Alix, our nanny, went away to Berkeley University to study something cool that helps people in developing communities. So we thought of Alix, and asked her to help us. We are excited that Alix is going to be our Chief Advisor and will mentor us like she did in the summer of 2014.”
Alix H. Charles
Alix was born in France but has lived in 6 countries across 4 continents. Her passion for social impact and economic development has led her to work with rural communities in Bolivia and Colombia, as well as with low-income families of Bangalore, India. She worked with the Patels as a nanny in 2014, and planned the kids’ first give-back project: a fundraiser bake sale for the BC Children’s Hospital! With a Masters degree in International Development from UC Berkeley and over 5 years of diverse experience in the non-profit, for-profit, and social impact sectors, Alix is eager to advise these young entrepreneurs and help them achieve their goals.
What is their MISSION you may ask?
“Our goal is to launch a pay it forward program working with our school and local restaurants in Kitsilano. Imagine if we all give a free lunch once a year to someone in need. We plan to serve 5000 lunches this year to a partner school in a developing country.”
I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with Issabelle. I asked about their goal for their organization and her response was:
“Well we have a new goal every week and we achieve them. Our life time goal is to provide a billion lunches.”
That is such a beautiful story and mission! These kids are very inspirational, right? It makes me want to help in any way possible!! How about you?
How to help:
Go to their website at Give a Free Lunch and check out more of what they’re up to! I came across this organization through their Give a Free Lunch Facebook and they have a Give a Free Lunch Instagram as well! Be sure to follow and support these wonderful kids and awesome sauce nanny!
Thank y’all for reading another piece of my heart today! I hope y’all enjoyed and will take the time to read some more pieces of my heart in the future!