A Breaktime-Mealtime Box Keeps Kids Going Strong
Friday, December 8, 2017
Yahir and his siblings live with their mom and are a strong family unit. They all pitch in to keep the house running smoothly – Yahir’s chore is vacuuming. Living on a single income means money is tight. They rely on the free meals the kids receive at school to make ends meet.
Yahir signed up for our Breaktime-Mealtime™ program to receive food for him and his siblings during school breaks. Yahir’s situation is not an isolated case – 19% of students in the Bellevue School District are living in poverty. That means one in five kids is at risk of hunger this winter break.
“It makes my life better because food is important. Without the help, we wouldn’t be eating breakfast sometimes.” –Yahir
The week before winter break, Yahir goes to the Family Connection Center at his school to pick up a Breaktime-Mealtime box full of nutritious items that will help him and his family during the two weeks off from school. This year, he’ll find something a little different inside the box.
Bellevue LifeSpring works closely with the Bellevue School District to ensure the food in the box meets a growing child’s needs. Each box contains healthy staples like rice, beans, peanut butter and oatmeal as well as a grocery store voucher to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. This year, we’ve changed up the items in the box to ensure they are easy to make, versatile, cost-effective, nutritious and appealing to many kids.
So what’s new in the box?
- Canned Chicken: We all know how picky kids can be! Many don’t care for fish, so we’ve switched out canned tuna for high-protein chicken. Over 250 kids in Bellevue are homeless and struggle to find food that doesn’t require much preparation. This item is pre-cooked so it’s easy for families to make chicken salad or add it to a burrito, even without consistent access to a full kitchen.
- Tortillas: Quesadillas, wraps, burritos, bowls and more! Tortillas are a versatile food that keep well and are great for any meal of the day! Families living in poverty often need to get creative with the ingredients available to them. Providing a basic item like tortillas allows them to add peanut butter and banana for breakfast or fill with rice and beans for a healthy dinner burrito.
- Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce: One of the most popular items, spaghetti, is a family favorite! Pasta has a low price point and can be stretched into several meals. Additionally, pasta is low in fat and free of sodium and cholesterol. Add in a hearty tomato sauce and it also counts for one to two servings of veggies!
For Yahir to achieve his dreams – growing up to be either a professional soccer player or a mechanical engineer – he needs healthy fuel to keep him going on the soccer field and in the classroom.
Your support gives students the building blocks for healthy, kid-friendly meals so they don’t miss out on nutrition during school breaks. The boxes have been a big help for Yahir.
“It’s hard to focus when you’re hungry because you feel really tired. You feel more energized when you eat food and then when you go to school, full of energy, you do your best.” –Yahir
You can help students like Yahir with the nutrition they need during school breaks. Just $25 provides a hungry child a week’s worth of vital nutrition with a Breaktime-Mealtime box.