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I would really, really like to no longer live in a world where educators keep food pantries in their classrooms because their students are food insecure.

I’d love for food insecurity to be a thing of the past. UNFORTUNATELY: Every single teacher I have ever worked for has a food/snack pantry in their classroom for students experiencing food insecurity.

One of the districts I work in gives away backpacks and bags full of food to food insecure and homeless students during the weekend because we know many kids don’t eat outside of school.

My parents and most of my other relatives work in education. They’ve been buying snacks OUT OF POCKET for their students for the past 40 years. I’m continuing this trend because apparently one of the schools I work in is too small to give breakfast to its students.

I can bring snacks easily because my landlord is a vendor at the farmers market and gives us boxes of ‘ugly’ fruit. The kids in my class get to eat after school because of this.

(Thank you, by the way! And a huge thanks to all of the other wonderful Olympia Farmers Market Vendors who have donated snacks to my class!)

I work in more than one school district. From the well funded to the underfunded.  Both have populations of students who are going hungry. However, most are in the underfunded school districts that have high rates of poverty.  Hungry kids are tired. They can’t focus. They can’t learn. Often times their ONLY meal is at school.  Their housholds are chronically food insecure with multiple adults working more than one job. Many area jobs don’t want to hire folks full time, which leaves adults to cobble together wages and employment from multiple part time sources that rarely give a steady schedule.

Food insecurity is a huge issue. It’s a BIG reason it’s part of my gardening curriculum.

Everyone should always have food. No one should be going hungry. The truth is, many people are every day.