OUR VIEW: Helping the hungry is worthy mission

Imagine being a child who isn’t that excited about a summer break.

It’s not because you want to be in school instead of enjoying the summer vacation — it’s because you know you won’t have enough to eat.

Our schools offer breakfast and lunch to students in need and that may be all some of these kiddos eat in a day.

It’s tough.

But no child in West Texas has to face hunger this summer with a program launched by the West Texas Food Bank. No sign up is needed for children 18 and younger. They show up at one of the sites designated and a healthy meal will be available.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and younger at approved SFSP sites.

The West Texas Food Bank is partnering with 13 sites and is preparing to serve more than 800 meals a day. All sites will be open to school aged kids 18 and younger.

For those not familiar with the work of the West Texas Food Bank, let us tell you, they are rock stars.

This group successfully harvests food around the entire region to hand out to organizations that help the needy.

This program is one that we can all feel good about. No one wants a child to go hungry.

We are always amazed by how far the reach of the Food Bank is and by their innovative programs and the way they include regular Odessans by encouraging not only giving but volunteerism.

Several volunteer groups have partnered with the Food Bank to help serve the meals. Connection Christian Church of Odessa is returning for the third year to help out.

The Rev. Dawn Weaks, Connection Christian Church of Odessa co-pastor praised the partnership. The West Texas Food Bank “blesses us with the opportunity to live out our faith and be part of building a healthy community. We thank God for the opportunity!”

There are sites around the area for students to get both a lunch and a snack. Visit www.wtxfoodbank.org for a list of locations or to find out more about the wonderful work that the West Texas Food Bank is doing to fight hunger.