She wondered what was wrong with her…
Norma Alicia was struggling financially and as a parent. Her daughter, 6 year old Lidia, enjoyed school and her friends, but at lunch time, she was left out. Her friends would gather excitedly around the lunch tables, waiting to see what was on their lunch trays that day. Lidia’s friends had all been sponsored by supporters of the Hoy Si Comi program but Lidia had not. There was a long waiting list. And since her mother could not supply her with a lunch herself, the little girl had to go hungry.
“Each day, my daughter would come home from school, asking if she could eat with her friends, and I would have to say no,” Norma Alicia told us.
Imagine having to tell your little girl, no, you can’t eat at school today. Or any day. Imagine the heartache of that mom, the guilt over not providing something so basic for her daughter. Fear that her daughter would become ill because she lacked proper nutrition. Imagine the hunger and the lonely, left out feelings of Lidia, surrounded by the students who did eat. Why wasn’t she allowed to eat too? What was wrong with her?
One day everything changed. That day, Norma Alicia received the phone call she had been praying for. Her daughter had been sponsored and would now receive meals every day along with her friends! There was great excitement when Lidia arrived home that day! Her mom explained that Lidia was now enrolled in the Hoy Si Comi feeding program, thanks to the love of a woman named Linda. Now Lidia could eat with her friends, every single day. Lidia could not wait to go to school the next day!
The Hoy Si Comi feeding program has far greater impact than simply a child receiving their daily hot lunch. As a parent, no matter what country you call home, one thing remains the same around the world; the overriding desire to care for your children, doing the best you can for them. Norma Alicia has expressed how grateful she is for the feeding program. It has been a huge economic help to her. Her stress and guilt over not bring able to provide for Lidia’s basic need of a simple meal has been replaced by thankfulness and joy. Norma Alicia has more energy and can focus on improving her economic conditions now that she isn’t worried about food for her daughter.
And Lidia? Not only is she able to concentrate better and learn more quickly now that she isn’t distracted by hunger pangs, she no longer wonders what is wrong with her. Her self-esteem has improved and she is a just a happy little girl, who gets to eat lunch with her friends. And her physical health is less of a concern now that her body is receiving proper nutrition.
The outlook of both parent and child is hopeful and positive. The future looks brighter. And for Lidia and her friends at the Hoy Si Comi feeding program, there will be opportunities, no longer out of reach, to aim for. Education is key for every child in Mexico to break the cycle of poverty that has been generational. But good food is the key to learning well.
This is how the cycle of poverty and hopelessness is broken. One meal, one child at a time.
The cost to this life altering measure? $12 a month. That’s all.