Saklan’s seventh-grade class has been learning about food insecurity, both in our local communities as well as throughout the United States. Although the U.S. is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, we have a staggering 33 million people, including 5 million children, that are food insecure. The term “food insecure” is used to describe someone who does not have access to sufficient food or food of adequate quality to meet one’s basic needs. The primary causes of this issue are poverty, unemployment, lack of affordable housing, low income, chronic health conditions, and lack of access to healthcare. And sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic magnified these issues. Many people who never needed food support before the pandemic found themselves waiting in long lines each week at their local food banks.
So as a way to teach our seventh graders how to make a difference and help get more food to people that need it, we decided to have them volunteer at the Alameda County Food Bank. The middle school teachers are proud to report that our students worked diligently, quickly, and with great motivation. The students understood that the more yams and onions that we bagged, the more meals and people they could help. Between Saklan and another group from Kaiser (roughly 50 people), they processed 15,902 pounds of vegetables and fruit. The students helped provide 13,199 meals, which worked out to each volunteer producing 259 meals. Our students and teachers were honored to help so many in a period of only 2 hours.
Saklan’s Middle School Teachers already have plans to take the other middle school students to volunteer at the Alameda County Food Bank in the new year.
If you are interested in volunteering, please click on this link.