By Jim Mascolo
The latest winter cold spells remind of how when I was a kid nothing was more exciting—and nothing was more ardently wished for—than a snow day. Snow forts, snow ball fights, ice skating and then running home for some hot chocolate. What could beat it? I’d watch the snow pile up and pray and pray that school would be canceled for the day—or at least that we’d have a late start.
But I suspect a snow day might elicit a much different response if I were one of the 16 million children now living in poverty in the U.S. For these kids school is not just a matter of reading, writing and arithmetic, but also often enough the sole source of nutritious food.
The Children’s Defense Fund has just released its 2014 report: “The State of America’s Children 2014.” Among the sad and shocking numbers:
- One in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty.
- One in every 10 children, or 7.1 million children, is extremely poor.
- Roughly 1.2 million public school students were homeless from 2011 to 2012—that’s 73 percent more than before the recession.
Please read the report and keep in mind the work of Food for Thought-Denver. We provide low-income children in a number of Denver Public schools with free and nutritious meals on weekends when there is no school breakfast or lunch programs. We need your help to continue our work and to extend it to more Denver schools. Let’s make snow days fun again.