Meet Melissa Wilson, a 20 year old math major chemistry minor at the University of Calgary. Last year, she was introduced to a program in Calgary called; “Brown Baggin’ it” through her mom who delivered lunches to kids at R.T. Alderman Junior High. That was when she learned that if someone didn’t take over the program, it would end. Melissa describes after meeting a couple of the kids; “That was pretty much it for me, I just kind of knew I’d have to find a way to make it work”.
Even with her busy University and work schedule, Melissa meets once a week at the school with a group of four students to make the lunches. These lunches include a sandwich, a treat (ex. granola bar), a fruit, yogurt, and a juice box.
When I asked Melissa why she’s sacrificing time and energy to make sure kids get a lunch at school she replied; “Not every family can make ends meet like many of us are privileged enough to be able to do. There are students who come to school without food not because they forget their lunch, but because their families can’t afford to feed them that extra meal every day. These are the students we provide for. I just think that a lot of people hear about the starving children in Africa, but nobody thinks to look close to home. As a university student, I don’t have the money to donate to children thousands of kilometres away, but I can make time in my life (barely haha) to help kids in my city”.
Wow. She’s got my attention. I don’t know about you, but I am so inspired and filled with hope when I hear of young people like her doing something to impact others. She’s making time when many make excuses. Imagine we all did that?…
The Brown Baggin’ it program is a great way to help kids right in your own community. They believe that the problem of child hunger can be solved. They believe that families and communities can care for their children and ensure that no child goes hungry. “We are here to walk alongside communities, schools and families as we all work to ensure that no child is missed and that all are cared for in a meaningful way. We believe in creating opportunities for the community to make a difference. We believe that, given the opportunity, communities and individuals will “make this their problem”.
A Culture-rebel like Melissa has made this her problem along with other volunteers who work with her such as Ms Ballantine at the school who organizes students to help. It takes a team to make it happen.
Melissa’s mom, Nancy, is still involved too by organizing drivers to deliver the lunches. She freely donates food and money to be sure kids don’t go hungry.
You can check out the Brown Baggin’ It website at http://brownbaggingit.org/
On their website they say:
We believe that all children should be loved and cared for by
family, community and society.
If your brother’s child was hungry, what would you do?…
That’s a good question isn’t it? Maybe its time we make children who are hungry our problem.