During the school year, 26 percent of students in Auburn and 60 percent of students in Opelika receive free or reduced-cost meals. However, when school is out of session during the summer months, many of these students are left without nutritious meals.
Becky Macintire, a junior elementary education major, wanted to help these underprivileged students. As a future teacher, Macintire felt personally connected to the cause as she knows she will encounter children in such situations in her own classroom one day.
Macintire found a way to make a difference by developing a partnership with a local church to provide healthy meals to hungry students. Starting in mid-June, True Deliverance Holiness Church on North Donahue Drive began opening its doors every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m . to children looking for lunch. Church representatives provided children with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, lunch meat sandwiches, vanilla wafers, chips, applesauce, juice and milk. Children were often sent home with extra sandwiches to eat as a snack later or to share with their family. Between five and 20 children were served each day.
The program serves as testament to Macintire's willingness to serve others, whether it's in the classroom or at the table. Macintire is the College of Education's representative for the Committee of 19, a campus-wide student-led group that helps raise awareness of international hunger and encourages donors to contribute 19 cents a day to help feed children.
As co-committee leader for Domestic Hunger - a Committee of 19 sub-group concerned with local hunger issues - Macintire spearheaded the effort to locate an organization in the Auburn/Opelika area willing to open its doors to underprivileged members of the community. With no organizational funds of her own, Macintire sought a location that would be able to provide the volunteer manpower and food necessary for a nutritious meal.
After much searching and little immediate success, Macintire found luck with True Deliverance Holiness Church, whose representatives were eager to provide support.
Macintire, who is "really excited about how it has turned out," plans to continue the effort again next summer.