When your child comes up to you and asks you to double his lunch, what is your immediate reaction? Maybe the food you’re giving him isn’t enough, or maybe he lost a bet and ows someone his lunch. Many parents would just brush off the request or not think much of it.
For one mother, every morning she packed two lunches at the request of her son. Except, she actually only had one son, Dylan, so how come she kept having to make two? Finally she decided to ask her son what was going on, and his answer brought her tears, and it might do the same to you.
Two Lunches For Just One Boy
Josette Duran, a mother residing in New Mexico had her morning routine down packed. Every morning she would get up and pick a lunch for her son before sending him off to school. However, this all changed when her son requested that she pack not only one lunch, but two.
At first, without questioning it much, Josette packed not one sandwich but two, along with two bags of chips and two cups of flavored yogurt. This continued to happen for several months.
The Truth Is Revealed
Eventually, Josette had to ask her son why he insisted to keep on taking two identical lunches to school. Josette asked Dylan if he wasn’t getting full from his first lunch. Dylan said that he was getting full, that wasn’t the problem. He let her know that the second lunch was actually for another kid at school.
Once she figured out what he was doing, she couldn’t help but post the conversation she had with her son on Social Media because she felt like everyone should be aware of the situation.
A Hungry Boy With No Money
Dylan, at his young age, was able to pick up on the fact that his schoolmate was struggling, and had the kindness to want to help him because he understood that he had the means. Dylan told his mother that the young boy only brought a fruit cup for lunch every single day. He didn’t think he had enough money to buy lunch at the school, either.
“I’m telling you this isn’t for praise, but it’s pretty intense,” Josette shared on Facebook. Her son had told her “mom it’s for this boy…He only eats a fruit cup for lunch can you make him lunch too? I don’t think he has lunch money.” Not only was his observation remarkable, but the fact that he made the decision to help this other little boy in any way he could think of is truly heartwarming.
A Situation That Hit Close To Home
Josette was able to piece together the situation of this little boy and his family. She not only encouraged her son to keep on helping him, and had no problem continuing to provide a second lunch for this other boy she had ever met for as long as he needed it, but she would even leave them little notes like enjoy your lunches boys.” Never once did she complain, refuse or think about the double costs.
Her empathy is also rooted in her own experience. The pain of not having enough food to eat was all too familiar for Josette, who had experienced homelessness for a while herself. Sharing her vulnerable experience on Facebook she explains: “This hits home to me because a few years ago, me and my son were homeless…I was living in my car, I was washing him in bathrooms, and we didn’t have food.”
The Boy’s Mother Found Out
Josette got into a habit of packing two lunches every single day, one for her son and one for his classmate. Soon, the mother of the little boy figured out what was going on. That is when Josette got a call from the school, asking her to come in.
The headteacher of the school called Rosette into the office after the other boy’s mother found out about the lunch. Rosette recalls the encounter: “she says, ‘I know this isn’t much, but I just got a job, and I know you’ve been feeding my son.'” However, Josette refused to accept any of the money.
The School Decided To Step In
When the school became aware of the situation and that kids were going hungry within their own walls, the staff decided they needed to do something about it. The girls’ volleyball team coaches raised more than $400 to give back to Josette, but instead she took that money to the cafeteria to put it towards all and any kids who can’t afford their lunches.
“We paid up all the past due accounts for all the kids who need lunch,” said Josette. “So now, nobody in that school owes any money, and now everyone can eat.” This was based on the school’s lunchroom program that allows students to take a meal and pay later, which is available at many schools around the U.S. However, the issue is that some kids rank up a high bill and fall into debt because they’re unable to pay back their meals. Instead, they feel embarrassed and singled out when they’re reminded to pay and lectured by staff.
Food Insecurity Is Still Common For Children
The sad reality is that not every kid knows when they’re going to eat next. According to USDA, food insecurity still affected at least 7 million American children in 2015.
Due to the rising costs of living 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6) were predicted to experience food insecurity in 2021. Basically, in short, there are a lot of hungry kids but not many people like Josette around to help them. Keep this in mind, as you have the power to single-handedly also make a difference. While programs and subsidies are in the works to help such children, they’re not always perfected and/or guaranteed.
You Can Make The Difference
Many people who read this story were inspired by it, not only because of Josette’s selfless act but also because many related to the kid who was hungry.
One person on Reddit explained: “I knew we didn’t have money so I never told my mom when I ran out of lunch money. One time I racked up a negative bill so bad they were going to not let me eat school lunch and they finally called my mom. When she came to pick me up she was crying at my school because she couldn’t afford to pay it (she was working full time and didn’t qualify for free lunch). My friend’s mom saw and paid it off plus added a chunk of money to it. I wasn’t old enough to really appreciate the gesture, so I never said thanks.”
It’s Up To Us All
A child is entirely reliant on his caretakers to provide basic necessities like food, water, shelter, and safety. However, the sad reality is that not all children get it. It’s not even always due to neglect, sometimes the sad truth is that as hard as parents work they’re simply unable to provide enough for their children. At that point, that child becomes the responsibility of us all. We all have the capacity to lend a hand to make sure the children around us are fed, clean, safe, and nurtured. We owe them that even if they’re not our own. After all, it’s the children of today that will carry the world tomorrow.
To make sure no child goes hungry…that’s up to us all.
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Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives