This coronavirus pandemic is going to bring out the best and the worst in us. Let’s start our day by focusing on the former, because we just learned that Kristen Bell’s daughters helped her and Dax Shepard donate $150,007.96 to No Kid Hungry. Without scaring our own kids, we can use this moment as today’s big homeschooling lesson.
“We’re BEYOND grateful to our friend and #HungerHero @kristenanniebell for her gift of $150,007.96!” No Kid Hungry wrote on Instagram Wednesday, with a photo of Bell at an event for the nonprofit. “Thank you for helping us send out even more grants to schools and community groups working to feed kids during the #COVID19 outbreak.”
Bell reposted the photo and added one of her own, showing Delta’s and Lincoln’s hands on a table with some dollars and coins.
“NKH has always been there for kids who need them,” Bell wrote. “They work tirelessly to provide food for the hungry [bellies] all over this country. I encourage anyone with the means to share to donate as well, any amount helps, so we can get through this together. (The reason the number is odd, is because when my kids overheard me making the donation, they asked if they could also donate the money from their piggy bank. I couldn’t have been prouder to add that extra, and important 7 dollars and 96 cents.😍😍😍)
The Bell-Shepard family are joining other celebrities in fighting hunger as we face the economic fallout of this crisis. On Monday, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds donated $1 million to be split between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. That same day Steph and Ayesha Curry made a donation through their Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. On Wednesday, Ciara and Russell Wilson pledged to donate 1 million meals to Seattle’s Food Lifeline. We’re happy to report that these are just a few of the many taking a moment to give to the many who are facing a very tough time.
We often wait until the holidays to teach children about donating canned food to the hungry and presents for the kids whose parents can’t afford them. But right now, there are millions receiving no paychecks (that emergency bill passed by congress this week leaves out a lot of workers in this country) as we all practice social distancing. There are children going without breakfast and lunch because they used to get it at school — even if their school district has implemented grab-and-go school lunches, they may have difficulty going to pick them up. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is actually appealing a court ruling that blocks the department’s new work requirements for SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Nice show of compassion, USDA.
But we’re not responsible for teaching federal officials about others, all we can do is teach the next generation. This is the perfect opportunity for us to snap our kids out of their whining about being bored stuck at home, and Queen Anna of Arendelle is showing them how to do the next right thing.
Feeding America has some tips on how to do this, encouraging parents to create a family action plan to help fight hunger. This includes reading and/or watching a video about a child whose family doesn’t have enough money for food, and imagining what it would be like to be that child. There are also fun activities like starting a collection jar and planting a family garden. (It also suggests a lemonade stand, which, yeah, we’ll skip for now.) Tell them that every dollar they donate can provide 10 meals (that’s Feeding America’s math, anyway).
It’s up to us to find the balance between informing our children about the world and not scaring them. Making them feel like there’s a way they can help is a good place to start.
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