The Northside Village or Near Northside community in Houston, TX is a poor community. Many people go hungry, particularly children. When I asked one of the children I mentor and take care of 'How many kids do you think come here because they are hungry?" She replied with "80%". She mentioned that "Nearly all of them do not get dinner when they get home". And "They rely on free lunch, free breakfast or whatever the middle or high school gives them". Delilah is 12 years old.
In Northside Village youth gang recruitment, gang violence involving these youth, drug abuse in our youth, teen pregnancy, poverty and hunger run riot. On top of this it is a rough place to live if you don't have money to buy food. The Houston Food Bank makes a huge mark on their lives. Having a meal at the end of the day takes their hunger pains away.
One of my favorite youth is Daniel. He is an extremely intelligent 12-year-old, and on a good track to success. He is a great kid. He has Asperger's (high functioning Autism). As a person with Asperger's one of his symptoms is a need for a rigorous precise routine. We serve dinner at 4pm. And he makes sure, I serve on time. He reminds me on the minute of 4 O'clock. He also loves to act as my helper serving food bank food. He is a joy.
Daniel also comes from a family that cannot afford the amount of food his family needs. He does not get dinner when he gets home. He relies on free lunch. You will notice on the Link2Feed data base he always takes a second or third meal, if they are available. He told me if The Houston Food Bank did not give Wesley Community Center food; He would go hungry.
Daniel is not the only child who goes hungry in our small community. But thanks to the Houston Food Bank, at least the kids at Wesley Community Center do not go hungry- and this, I believe is a true success. And for this I am forever thankful, including Daniel, Delilah and all the other approximately 500+ children you have serve over the years at our center.