By Nurse Diane
There has been a lot of information lately about childhood obesity, and the quality of school lunches, with the emphasis on more fresh fruits and vegetables and less junk foods. However, there are some children in other parts of the world that don't have the option of fresh fruits and vegetables. In some countries, they are fortunate just to have one meal a day. I am sure you have seen the commercials asking you to send money to help the children, and if you are like me, you may be skeptical about these organizations. Which ones are legitimate, which ones are not?
April is Global child nutrition Month. According to gcnf.org, Global Child Nutrition Month is observed annually in April to heighten awareness of childhood hunger. In 2009, the World Food Program estimated that as many as 350 million of the world’s children suffer from poverty and hunger. The goals and ideals of Global Child Nutrition Month are to acknowledge that global hunger can be overcome by combining the will and resources of individuals and organizations. Freeing children from hunger allows them to become self-supporting and contributing citizens and is a step toward building a stable and peaceful world.
Their website offers several ways that you, or your community can raise money to help end this global problem, and feed the children. Some of their suggestions include:
- The Great Bottle Battle: Each class should decorate a container to be kept in their homeroom. During the contest period, classes will race to see which room can fill their container the fastest. The homeroom that collects the most money is the winner!
- Help Serve: Every student has his or her favorite teacher. Students can “vote” on which teachers they want to help serve lunch on a specified day. Students can “vote” by placing money into jars decorated with participating teacher’s name/picture. At the end of the designated voting time, count the money and the top three teachers will help in the cafeteria, serving students.
- World Food Day: Volunteer your time to prepare special foods from around the world and host an event in the cafeteria or at a school function. Students, parents, and staff can sample different foods from around the world.
- International Night: Work with your local parent organization to host a “discover the world” party where a foreign film or a documentary on world hunger is shown. Parents can “buy” their tickets by making a donation.
- Teachers vs. Students: Coordinate with a parent organization or student group to host teachers vs. student’s basketball game. Have the cafeteria staff and parents volunteer their time to host a concession booth to increase fundraising.
- Community Milk Money: Wash empty milk cartons and band them with a creative Change Our World milk label. Take the containers to area businesses and ask them to place containers next to registers to collect change from customers during a set amount of time. Collect the change-filled milk cartons after the allotted time has expired.
- Chain Builders: Have different classrooms and grade levels compete to see who can build the largest paper chain. Sell strips of paper for 25¢ each. Allow students to buy strips for a predetermined period of time. At the end of the donation period, count the links and display the chains to see which class wins bragging rights.
- Pizza for the World: Have the students or staff build the largest pizza in your community by making a circle (chalk, rope, etc.) that they toss coins into, creating a “pizza” made with money that can be donated.
- Car Wash: More than good clean fun, a car wash is a great way to spread the word. Work with student organizations or cafeteria staff to work the car wash and hand out information about your fundraiser, global hunger and GCNF’s vision.
- Make A Match: Visit area businesses and ask them to match the funds collected at your school.
For more information about child nutrition and how you can help, visit this website http://www.gcnf.org/
(All images from Google)