Grandparents: Extra Helping Hands
Hungry Souls is seeing an increasing number of client households headed by grandparents. There are several reasons that children live with their grandparents. Some move into a grandparent’s home with parents who are struggling financially or with parents who intend to provide some level of care and companionship to aging parents. Fathermatters.org states that over a million children in the United States live in a home where a grandparent is the sole parental influence. Many children are in this situation due to parental incarceration or drug use; perhaps children have been removed from a dangerous situation by Child Protective Services and placed with a grandparent. Locally, The Central Texas Food Bank finds that 20% of their client households include a grandparent.
In addition to health concerns related to aging, grandparents raising grandchildren face other unique challenges. The average income of a grandparent raising a grandchild is less than $20,000 per year (Fathermatters.org). This means that 21% of all grandparents raising a grandchild live below the poverty line. Most likely these grandparents are feeding multiple children who need a wide variety of nutritional food to stay healthy and thrive in an educational setting.
Hungry Souls welcomes these families. We are able to provide weekend and school break meals to help bridge the gap when students aren’t being fed at school. Families are provided a slow cooker as well as menus and recipes along with healthy staples and fresh ingredients. During the pandemic, families are able to pick up their food at centralized locations. Masked volunteers facilitate no contact delivery by placing groceries inside the open trunk of client cars. Numbers have increased by 80% since the beginning of the pandemic, so we are keeping very, very busy.
How can you help? With our increase in clients and a 92% increase in food prices, financial donations are always welcome. You can become a donor HERE. We would also welcome you as a volunteer. Information on how to do that can be found HERE.
We really appreciate our senior volunteers. It is always a blessing when clients arrive to find someone who looks like them providing a welcoming smile and encouraging word. Perhaps you are able to put yourself in the shoes of our senior clients and extend to them a compassionate hand as they give their best to raising their grandchildren.