In 2017, my oldest daughter started kindergarten. The school she attends has the highest poverty rate in our district, where 75% of the students receive a free or reduced lunch. So, there is a lot of need.
A month into the school year, I sat down with the principal and asked, “How can we help? What is something you are struggling to cover?” Her instant response was, “We need milk.” I didn’t totally understand, but she explained.
While most of their students get a free or reduced lunch and even breakfast before school, milk during their snack break was not covered by the program. Since most families couldn’t afford the additional cost, the majority of kids in the school went without milk during breaks. The principal believed many of those students were getting the bulk of their nutrients at school, so it was vital they get the milk they need while they were there. At the same time, our church was looking for tangible ways to serve our community. Armed with an idea, I went back to our church staff and explained the need.
We launched a campaign asking our church members to sponsor milk for one or more children for a semester or the whole year. Within a few weeks, we raised about $5,000 to help purchase milk for students in two entire grades. One lady wrote a check for $1,100. When I thanked her, she said, “I went to that school as a girl–those are my people.”
I think for all of us, it was a great lesson in showing the love of Christ by just meeting basic needs; by living out the Gospel without even saying a word.