Breaking the Poverty Cycle

Breaking the poverty cycle with the Bedford Rotary's Meal Packing initiative - Courtesy image (c) all rights reserved
Breaking the poverty cycle with the Bedford Rotary’s Meal Packing initiative – Courtesy image (c) all rights reserved

Submitted by the Rotary Club of Bedford

On Saturday, May 14 at Middlesex Community College the Rotary Club of Bedford will continue its efforts to break the poverty cycle that is gripping children in so many parts of our world. At their Meals For Kids event, joined by hundreds of volunteer packagers, they will do this by packaging 57,000 nutritious meals for children who otherwise would go hungry. This is the fourth year that Bedford Rotary will be packaging these meals. If successful this year they will have packaged and shipped a total of 250,000 meals.

The Poverty Cycle – what is it and why does it need to be broken?

There is enough food produced in our world to feed every one of us. The problem is in getting it to the many who do not have access to it or cannot afford it. Nutritious food can help break the poverty cycle. Children who go off to school in the world’s impoverished areas, many with no breakfast, go through their morning lessons fairly well. But by mid-day their energy levels have dropped and they become sluggish and lazy. With no lunch to rejuvenate them, their young bodies and minds aren’t able to absorb and understand what they are being taught in the afternoon. For this reason, many of those schools close at noon and the children are sent home.

This lost educational opportunity over the few years of education they are exposed to leaves them dramatically under equipped to compete in today’s job market. It keeps them dependent on whatever levels of assistance are available where they live and they remain at the bottom economic levels for their entire lives. When they have children the poverty cycle starts all over again with the next generation!  On the other hand, if those children are given a nutritious, well balanced meal every day, things change. They are re-energized in the afternoon, stay in school all day, maximize the educational opportunities available to them, exposing some to even higher levels of education. A better education positions these young adults much better in the workforce and dramatically increases their earning potential. It gives them the opportunity to pull themselves out of the poverty cycle. In addition, with the guarantee of a hot nutritious meal every day, parents are more apt to make sure their children go to school because in many instances they know it is the best way, if not the only way, their children will get a good meal every school day. All this opportunity is generated by a meal that costs us only $0.29 to produce, package, and ship to schools where they are fed to the children.

Help break the Poverty Cycle

This year’s Meals For Kids packaging event being held on the Bedford campus of Middlesex Community College (591 Springs Road, Bedford) once again takes place in partnership with Stop Hunger Now, an international non-profit hunger relief organization. Rotary Club members are currently busy raising the $17,000 necessary to purchase the raw materials to package the 57,000 meals. Local restaurants, including Flatbread Company and the 99 Restaurant on Middlesex Turnpike have opened their doors to help Rotary in this effort. Upcoming on Tuesday, April 19 Ken’s NY Deli and Pizzeria (72 Great Road, Bedford) will also host an all-day fundraising event for the project. You can help by planning lunch, dinner or take-out at Ken’s that day and a percentage of your purchase go toward Meals For Kids.

How to Help

You can also help by signing up and being a meal packager at the Meals For Kids event.  Individuals, families, organized teams, youngsters and oldsters can all participate.  To help package the meals on May 14th visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050f4eada92aa75-bedford to sign up for the event.

Learn More

To learn more about the Rotary Club’s Meals for Kids project visit their website at https://www.bedfordmarotary.org/MealsForKids.cfm

Tune in to this month’s Bedford Common on Bedford TV and see the segment featuring Bedford Rotarians talking about Meals For Kids


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