The Edible Arrangements convention this week in Las Vegas held many, many highlights for me. Few, however, matched the opportunity we had earlier in the week to join the passionate volunteers of the Serving Our Kids Foundation in Las Vegas for an important project.
My family and I, along with members of the Edible Arrangements corporate staff and franchisees, joined the volunteers at their warehouse to fill bags with fresh fruit donated by Edible Arrangements and our Las Vegas-area vendor, Get Fresh Sales, along with other food items for children in the Vegas Valley that might otherwise not have enough to eat.
Nothing could be more tragic than a child going to bed hungry because he or she had no food to eat, yet it is a sad fact of life that it happens on a daily basis. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 15.3 million children under the age of 18 in the United States live in households where they do not have enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.
That is a stunning number, and one we should all be doing what we can to significantly reduce.
What makes this even more tragic is that many of these millions are young children in their most important, formative years. The impact hunger can have on a young child’s growth and development – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual – is profound.
That’s why Serving Our Kids has created a very simple, yet important mission — to feed hungry children. They realize they can’t solve the problem all at once, but I love their slogan of “Community Partners, Coming Together to Change Our World, ONE Child at a Time!”
In the Las Vegas area served by the Foundation, some of the children who receive weekly food bags are homeless and others come from families with extremely limited incomes. All usually eat breakfast and lunch at school, leaving a gap for where they will get meals during the weekend. Every Friday during the regular school year, Serving Our Kids provides weekend food bags to about 1,900 children in grades K-5 at 33 different schools in Clark County. With many schools operating on a year-round schedule, the Serving Our Kids Foundation also works to feed about 700 children per week in summer months.
To support this mission, Edible Arrangements President Rob Price and I were also honored to be able to present the organization’s Executive Director, Dale Darcas, with a check from Edible Arrangements during closing ceremonies at our convention. It was a very moving moment for everyone involved.
Thank you again, to the Serving Our Kids Foundation for the critical work you are doing in your community. You truly are Changing Our World, ONE Child At A Time!
Below are some photos from the very memorable evening helping the volunteers in the warehouse and I encourage you to visit their website at http://servingourkids.org.