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article imageTeacher raises more than $150,000 to feed Ferguson students

By Megan Hamilton     Aug 22, 2014 in World
Ferguson - The turmoil in Ferguson has forced schools in the local school district to stay closed until August 25, and this means that low-income students who rely on reduced-price or free lunches may not be getting the food that they need.
This may add up to some 68 percent of the students in the the local school districts who aren't receiving this service, causing their parents to struggle harder to feed them, according to Think Progress.
When Ferguson became a tinderbox of civil unrest that roared to life after police shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, a teacher in North Carolina decided to step up to the plate in order to help low-income families.
The teacher, Juliana Mendelsohn, decided to do a bit of fund raising. On its very first day, the campaign raised $38,000. The fund has now topped more than $150,000. Think Progress reports that the original goal was $80,000.
"As a public school teacher, my first thought is always about the children involved in any tragic situation like this," Mendelsohn wrote in a blog on Fundly. When I found out school had been canceled for several days as a result of the civil unrest, I immediately became worried for the students in households with food instability. Many children in the US eat their only meals of the day, breakfast and lunch, at school. With school out, kids are undoubtedly going hungry."
At least one out of five kids in the US face food insecurity every day.
The Riverview Gardens School District is also lending a hand — having offered free breakfast and lunch at three schools on Tuesday. The District plans to do this throughout the week, per Think Progress. Teachers also stepped in by giving parents a place to bring their children at the Ferguson Public Library. Standing outside and holding signs to direct families to the library, the teachers offered activities to dozens of kids, thus giving working parents a safe place to bring their children.
Summer vacation can be a very stressful time for low-income families, Think Progress reports. Summer Nutrition Programs provide lunch for approximately three million children daily, but even so, they still fail to reach 85 percent of kids who rely on school meals. Even when school is in session, at least three-quarters of the country's teachers report that students regularly show up to the classroom hungry.
Regardless of people's opinions about the civil unrest in Ferguson, innocent children should not go hungry because of it, Mendelsohn wrote.
While Ferguson is still a tinderbox, these meals will provide parents with one less problem to worry about.
More about Ferguson, think progress, fundly, Missouri, ferguson public library
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