Yesterday was a snow day for many school districts in the Twin Cities area. The foot of snow was a fun excuse for many families to be outdoors, sledding on hills and building snow forts. Afterwards they could warm up with hot cocoa or bake fresh cookies.
But the school districts in Saint Paul and Minneapolis did not have snow day. Instead the buses took their time delivering these urban children to their school. I don’t know all the reasons they stayed open, but one of them was probably hunger. For many children in poverty, school is the one place where they are assured of getting a nutritious meal. According to Bread for the World, 16.2 million children struggle with hunger every day. You can learn more about hunger through the new documentary, “A Place at the Table.”
As a Christian I pray the Lord’s prayer daily. In it I pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” I am not simply praying, “Give me today my daily bread,” but for OUR daily bread. I am praying for my brothers and sister in Christ who need food today. After all the book of James cautions,
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? (James 2:14-17)
I am thankful for the efforts my congregation (and many congregations) who work to fed others. Efforts like the Cure Ministry that serves meals at East Emmanuel Lutheran in St. Paul and the Christian Cupboard that provides food to many families in the Woodbury area. But I sense that more can be done. What do you think?
Lord Jesus, give us today our daily bread, especially for the hungry children in our midst.
Pastor, unfortunately, the situation you described is prevalent here in Tennessee, also. In my community 700-plus children are fed both breakfast and lunch at school. Their lunches on Fridays are their last meals prior to returning to school on Monday mornings and eating breakfast. The US sends foreign aid to other countries despite children within the boundaries of the US starving. Please help me understand this.
It also often has to do with safety. Many school districts in urban areas stay open because parents are still required to go to work and can’t afford to hire babysitters. If the schools were to close, in theory, many children would be left unattended, especially in areas and neighborhoods that aren’t so safe. Basically it’s a liability issue.