Advancing National Service

While Civil Unrest Rocks Their Community, This Teacher is Working to Prevent Ferguson’s Kids from Going Hungry

August 19, 2014
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While Civil Unrest Rocks Their Community, This Teacher is Working to Prevent Ferguson’s Kids from Going Hungry
Gabrielle Walker, 5, protests the killing of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Classes have been cancelled during the protests, leaving many children hungry without school-provided lunch. Scott Olson/Getty Images
With school not in session, many children have empty stomachs.

Since police shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed, college-bound teenager in Ferguson, Mo., the violent unrest in the small town near St. Louis has yet to cease. With outrage and confusion coming from all directions, basic safety and calm are at a premium. Families are in danger, and as a result, school has been canceled for at least the remainder of this week.

In Ferguson, a week off from school means more than just missed lessons.

The poverty rate there is almost double Missouri’s average, so unfortunately, many kids don’t get proper nutrition unless they are in school, according to the Huffington Post.

Thankfully, Juliana Mendelsohn, a teacher in Raleigh, N.C., recognized the need to provide food and launched an online campaign to raise money for hungry children in Ferguson. Appealing for donations on the crowd funding site Fundly, Mendelsohn says, “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.”

So far, over $78,000 has been raised by thousands of donors (as of publication), with another two days left to reach the goal of $80,000. Dennis Hu, Fundly’s CEO, was so impressed with the mission and success of the campaign that he personally called Mendelsohn to express his support for her.

All the money raised goes directly to help those in need through the St. Louis Area Foodbank, which says the funds are substantial enough to continue making a difference for the next year.

“Regardless of your opinion on the civil unrest in Ferguson,” Mendelsohn continued, “there is no need for innocent children to go hungry because of it.”

If you’re interested in donating, click here.

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