8-year-old girl helps shine light on growing hunger problem

June 18, 2012 6:35:28 PM PDT
A lot of kids are now enjoying summer vacation, but it is not a vacation for hunger. In fact, the problem can get even worse when school is out. That's why Second Harvest Food Bank is trying a new twist to their annual campaign.

Angela Morales is 8 years old and knows what it feels like to go hungry. "When you don't have enough food you feel like you're homeless because you don't have enough food and you have to eat from places that you don't really like," she says.

When Angela's dad lost his job during the recession, the family turned to Second Harvest Food Bank. Now Angela has literally become the poster child for the non-profit's "Share Your Lunch" campaign. Her face is not only plastered on food barrels, but the soon to be fourth-grader is also the star of a just-released YouTube video.

Second Harvest says when school's out nearly 100,000 kids in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties lose out on free and reduced-price lunches. It hopes the YouTube video makes those numbers real.

"When I hear Angela talk, it puts such a face on hunger," says the food bank's CEO, Kathy Jackson. "It stops being such an abstraction."

Every dollar donated to the food bank can provide two healthy meals to a child. Nearly half of the food distributed is fresh fruit and produce. Angela's family says that has been an unexpected benefit of becoming a food bank recipient.

"It's food that is healthy and it's actually helpful in a way because before we used to eat a lot of junk food and now it's like we're eating healthier," says Angela's sister, Leticia.

Angela is now giving back to the very organization helping her by encouraging all of us to get involved. "If everybody shares," says Angela, "there's enough food for the whole wide world."


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