World Half Full
Free snacks for hungry kids
For the past five years, Champale Anderson has distributed free snack bags to any child who knocks on her door. Aware that many parents in her North St. Louis community are unable to afford to provide snacks on demand for their growing children, Anderson has adopted an open-door policy to the young and hungry.
“I'm just trying to help the kids who don't have enough at home or just go hungry after school,” Anderson writes on her GoFundMe page. “I’ve been doing this out my own money and I'm just reaching out." Since starting her GoFundMe appeal, she has collected more than $80,000.
Every donation Anderson receives helps her buy snacks for the bags. They range from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (her speciality), fruit, cookies, juice, and “a few surprises for her special babies”. Speaking to St. Louis Public Radio, Anderson said, “I’m going to keep this thing going — whether I have a GoFundMe or not. Sometimes that snack is the only thing the kids have that evening.”
Staggeringly, America — the world’s richest country — is home to more than 12 million children living in food-insecure households. St. Louis has one of the highest child poverty rates in the US — with nearly 40 percent of its children living below the federal poverty line. “I know I can’t stop [hard times],” said Anderson. “But I can slow it down just a little bit.”