The start of school is right around the corner and children will be returning to a setting of education and friendship.
For many Newton County children, returning to school also means returning to a place where they can get two meals every day (for many, school cafeterias serve both breakfast and lunch).
There is a need for food in our county, one that stretches to some of our children who struggle to get a meal. Whether their parents can’t afford three meals a day or their parents aren’t home to cook, the fact is that some of our children don’t get the meals that most of us take for granted.
In Newton County, we have several organizations and many people who step up to try to address this problem.
Each week this summer, Action Ministries has packed lunches for children to have food when they otherwise wouldn’t. They work with multiple organizations and groups at different sites throughout the community to feed more than 100 children each day during the week.
Staff at The Covington News recently had the opportunity to volunteer to make 25 lunches. It took us 30 minutes and that 30 minutes opened our eyes and changed us. It is one thing to hear reports about the hungry and needy. It is an entirely different thing to realize that these are our neighbors.
It is wonderful to see our community members not turning a blind eye to this, but rather stepping up to fill a need. It is one of the things that makes this community such a great one. If one person helps out for an hour, several families receive the benefit. That translates to dozens of children not knowing what it is to be hungry that day. Little by little, our world can be a better place.
Our community is also taking it a step further and making sure our children have what they need to learn in school.
The Sheriff’s department and several community organizations and businesses have been working to gather school supplies to give to those in need so that children could have everything needed when the first day of classes rolls around.
If we expect our children to succeed, and they must in order to carry the next generation, then we must make sure they have the tools with which to succeed. Yes, this means proper instruction and a comprehensive curriculum but that also means proper supplies and full bellies so they can do the work in front of them.
These are great organizations but they aren’t the only ones. However, in recent years, all such organizations have seen a rise in demand.
If you are one of the many volunteers that already help, we thank you and ask that you continue the good work. It would not be possible without you.
If you aren’t, we strongly urge you to take the opportunity to help your neighbor. There are opportunities everywhere and just as much need to match whatever time or funds you have available.
Everyone knows that the need is there. Maybe knowing that the organization is also there, serving the community, will help you decide to go volunteer or to ask your friend, coworker, or family member to come with you to serve.
We at The Covington News believe that Newton County is a great community. Working together and helping those in need are a vital part of the strength of our community. If our charitable organizations grow and our helping hands reach out further, then our community, and especially our children, are the better for it.