I first heard of Feeding Empty Little Tummies at a meeting of Networking For Non-Profits earlier this year. The name of the organization is enough to break anybody’s heart.
Without even knowing its purpose or mission statement a quote from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens quickly came to mind. “Please sir, I want some more.” Oliver Twist, a child, was hungry.
I found out that there are hungry children in Manatee County that only have a reliable source of food Monday through Friday, when they are in school. E.F.E.L.T is a program that provides those children with food for the weekends. Any money, from whatever source, obtained for this program, is used for food. E.F.E.L.T. has its home at the Bradenton Elks #1511.
I was reminded of this organization when I received an invitation on facebook from Lauren Mitchell to attend a fundraising event benefitting E.F.E.L.T. It’s being held this Saturday. Lauren Mitchell is an up and coming local performer with a passion for the blues. She also seems to have a passion for children. I have seen the Lauren Mitchell Band six times; three of them were at events benefitting children. A comment on her facebook page says it all, “We are playing to help feed hungry schoolchildren in Manatee County. NO CHILD SHOULD GO HUNGRY!!!”
Children have rights; among them are a right to be fed & a right to a proper education. These two go hand in hand. The ability to learn is directly affected by nutrition. It’s hard to learn when you’re hungry.
My first local heroes are not only Lauren and her band, but also the individuals at E.F.E.L.T. who volunteer their time and resources to make this part of the world a better place to live.
Harry Chapin, founder of World Hunger Year once said we grow enough food to feed everyone in the world three times over; and in relation to this point asked why people are going hungry. E.F.E.L.T. is making a difference in Manatee County. For more information about the benefit this Saturday please go to their website.
Donald C Czaplinsky
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