A Volunteer’s Words – “Learning and growing can’t happen with stomachs grumbling…”

By Children Rising | December 15, 2018

by Amy Hood, Health4Kids volunteer

This winter, we are excited to share the words of Amy Hood, a volunteer working with our Health4Kids program.

“This is my second school year volunteering with Health4Kids. A few years ago, Children Rising started working in partnership with Project Peace, an organization where I serve on the board and regularly participate in its Days of Service. I worked with a couple folks from Children Rising during those volunteer days and heard about some of its programs. I looked up what other volunteer opportunities were available and Health4Kids seemed to fit with my time constraints and passions.


Health4Kids helps enable students to return to school on Monday mornings, nourished in both brain and body, and ready to learn.

I choose to volunteer with Health4Kids because, as a parent myself, I know that learning and growing can’t happen with stomachs grumbling. For me, food is nourishment and care. Spending an hour bagging food with the Health4Kids’ partners at the Alameda County Food Bank is a simple, yet profound opportunity for me to support the nourishment and care of so many kids, even though I don’t know their faces or their situations. Understanding that these two organizations ensure that kids reliably get some critical food needs met makes my effort more than worthwhile.

Each time I’ve volunteered with Health4Kids it has been an organized, efficient activity, which I’m certain is supported by lots of hours behind the scenes. I really appreciate this aspect. I’ve always been greeted enthusiastically and to my delight I have found camaraderie in some older, retired folks who have been volunteering for much longer than I have. In my daily circles of parenting two elementary-aged kids without family close by, I have missed multi-generational community. Health4Kids has given me the opportunity to fill some of that gap as I engage with older, wiser folks even just for an hour a couple times a month.

I am looking forward to the rest of this school year!”

Health4Kids Infographic

Health4Kids provides nutritious food for children and families.

Many children who are dependent on school-supplied breakfasts and lunches go home to empty cupboards and refrigerators over the weekend. Too often, these students come to school on Monday morning hungry, and unable to learn. The Health4Kids program was created to address the impact food insecurity and hunger can have on a child’s ability to learn. Health4Kids volunteers, in partnership with the Alameda County Community Food Bank, pack bags full of healthy, nourishing food to help ensure students come back to school well-fed and ready to learn on Monday mornings.

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