The Calderon family have been in the United States for 3 years and have struggled to provide for their family Before moving to the U.S., both parents were engineers in Mexico but are unable to utilize their degree or experience to qualify for a job here. Dulce, the mother, is working hard to learn English in order to obtain a higher paying job. Her husband works delivering food to schools and restaurants. Just having one income is very difficult for the family of 5, especially given their advanced education levels in Mexico. However, they wanted a better life for their boys in the U.S. and are working hard to achieve their dreams.
While Dulce is learning English, she has become very involved at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand attending programs and leading other moms. She facilitates the ARK program at BBHH, a faith-based parent support group, attends Exercise Class, receives 80+ pounds of groceries at our Grocery Store twice a month, attends job training classes to further her professional skills, and more.
In addition, Dulce works hard to care of their three boys, Marco, Gael, and Gerardo and they are very involved in BBHH activities like Soccer Camp, Art Camp, Vacation Bible School, Basketball Camp, Camp Ozark, and more. Dulce shared, “Summers can be very tough for our family because the kids aren’t getting two free lunches a day at school. We love coming to BBHH because we know that twice a month at Grocery Store and at the kids’ programs, the boys will receive lunches. They are healthy and filling and such a blessing to our family.”
Dulce also now regularly brings her two nieces and nephew to BBHH along with her boys to partake in the summer programs and lunches to help her extended family. She is so grateful for the extra support her family receives for meals and more during the summer.
Last year, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand distributed 4,000 lunches to kids and 3,000 of those were during the summer.
While Brother Bill’s Helping Hands can’t reach all hungry children YET, hundreds of children in our service area, like Dulce and her family are smiling and happy with full tummies all summer long. The program is made possible by local donations and sponsors like Dallas Morning News Charities.
May we count on you to help others like Dulce? Please visit http://bit.ly/DMNCharities18 to donate today.
Erika is a mother of 4 who relies on Allen Community Outreach’s Kids Summer Food Program. Erika lost her job three years ago, and has struggled to feed her children.“ACO’s Kids Summer Food Program helped my family tremendously last summer. If I did not have ACO’s help with our groceries during the summer when the kids are home, I would have to stretch my food to feed them all,” said Erika.
Her children range in age from 4 years old to 12. Her oldest daughter has cerebral palsy. Her 6 year old was diagnosed with autism. Faced with 4 hungry children can be a daily struggle when there is not enough food in the house. But with two children with special needs, Erika’s challenges are even greater.
Providing bags of kid-friendly and healthy groceries for children all summer long helps relieve some of Erika’s stress. Her cereal-loving 6 year old is happy with boxes to choose from each morning for breakfast. Her youngest two children are thriving thanks to the fresh fruits they receive in their bags. Lunches are just as easy with the items they receive that are easy to prepare and favorites of all kids.
ACO’s Kids Summer Food Program provides more than 1,000 free bags of healthy, easy-to-prepare breakfast and lunch foods during the summer months for Collin County children whose household resources are limited. These children are part of the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program at public schools.
While ACO can’t reach all hungry children YET, hundreds of children in our service area, like Erika and her family are smiling and happy with full tummies all summer long. The program is made possible by local donations and sponsors like Dallas Morning News Charities.
May we count on you to help others like Erika? Please visit http://bit.ly/DMNCharities18 to donate today.
The North Texas Food Bank
NTFB’s summer feeding program not only provides breakfast to children enrolled in daycare, we provide backpacks of kid-friendly food for the weekend, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep them healthy while on vacation. Here is an example of how your support helps kids in our community.
A site coordinator from one of our sites reported that prior to registering a set of second grade twins on the backpack program, Casey and Jamie* came in every morning complaining about being hungry, and they cried easily with any minor issues or problems. Their dad is not in the picture anymore, and mom has a really hard time financially. As they received their first backpacks full of food, Casey and Jamie both gave me a huge hug and thanked me. They smile every time they receive a backpack, and it has made a huge difference in their ability to cope with life’s challenges.
Sam, a single mom of four, is categorized as the working poor of Collin County. She earns more than minimum wage, but doesn’t earn enough to make ends meet at the end of the month. This past summer, ACO partnered with Sam and her family to close the gap and fill the need in her home through ACO KIDS Summer Food Program. ACO’s program provides every child with a large bag of kid-friendly and easy-fix foods every two weeks. These bags of groceries helped Sam eliminate the rising cost of groceries during the summer months and ensured her children had three meals a day. The money Sam saved on grocery purchases allowed her to manage other financial responsibilities in her home. Sam was overwhelmed with excitement knowing each of her children was given a personal bag of breakfast and lunch foods “just for them”. ACO Summer Food Program not only feeds kids, but makes it personal!
Amanda is seven years old and very mature for her age. She has had to grow up in a hurry, because unfortunately she has responsibility for her younger sister when their parents aren’t home. During the school year, they are only alone for a few hours in the house before her Mom comes home from work. Their Dad works two jobs to try and make ends meet, so he’s home very little. During the school year, Amanda and her sister are on the Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch Program which ensures they have healthy meals twice a day. However, with summertime here, Amanda is responsible for herself and her sister for 8 hours each weekday. Her parents are barely able to afford the groceries for a family of four, so they plan one meal in the evening thanks to their monthly access to the ACO Food Pantry. And thanks to the ACO KIDS Summer Food Program, Amanda and her sister will have nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack foods to eat while they are home alone during the summer. Mom said last summer’s food program was a real blessing for their family. Two Saturdays a month from June through August, Amanda’s parents will come to the pantry this summer and bring the girls. They are both again excited to get their very own bags, which not only have foods they look forward to, but sometimes other surprises like books, small toys, a new toothbrush and such. Two Saturdays a month, Amanda and her sister will leave the pantry with big smiles knowing that they won’t go hungry this summer.
Order a meal from select restaurants today only, June 19 between 11 AM – 9 PM, on the Favor Dallas app and $1 of each purchase will benefit The Dallas Morning News Charities’ Kids Summer Feeding Campaign. Participating restaurants include:
- Big Guys Chicken and Rice
- Bowls & Tacos
- Christie’s Sports Bar
- Cinco Taco Bar
- Fadi’s Mediterranean
- Kozy Kitchen
- Modern Market
- MoMo’s Pasta
- Pōk The Raw Bar
- Sapa House
- Southpaw’s Organic Grill
- Stackhouse Burger
- Unleavened Fresh Kitchen
- Urban Caphe
- Zoës Kitchen
This summer, The Dallas Morning News Charities is supporting six local organizations that help provide nutritious meals to children whose lives are thrown in disarray when school is on break. According to the North Texas Food Bank, $1 equals one nutritious meal.
So essentially, ordering a meal with Favor today provides a meal for a North Texas child in need. It’s a win-win. Click the button below to download the Favor app and order a meal to give a meal today!
Click to Download Favor
Maria is a student in our Healthcare Pathways program with El Centro. She works nights so she can attend classes at Sharing Life during the day. She has 2 school-aged children and is the sole earner in the family. During the school year both of Maria’s children eat breakfast and lunch at their neighborhood school, but in the summer they go hungry some days. Last summer Maria signed both children up for Sharing Life’s Summer Food and Fun program. For 12 weeks both kids received a backpack full of easy to prepare breakfast and lunch items like granola bars, peanut butter & jelly, and microwaveable soups. In addition to the food items, each backpack also included age-appropriate books and educational activities to keep their brains sharp during the school break. Maria completed her courses at Sharing Life in the fall and is now a certified phlebotomist at a local hospital.