Fifth grader urges help for the homeless

  • Homeless people camping on the Greenfield Common, July 28, 2018. STAFF FILE PHOTO/Paul Franz

Friday, June 07, 2019

Have you ever seen a homeless person on the side of the street walking and felt bad?

Well, you can help that person, but not just them — every person who has had food insecurity. People all over are going through this problem. I myself see people walking around when I drive to the store even in the winter.

I wonder how they might feel standing outside in the cold and then I look at myself sitting in my car with the heat on. I start to feel bad for that person. You are probably wondering, “How can I help I am just an average person?” You, everyone, can help, even children. If you don’t stop hunger now soon you too may be going through food insecurity.

Not just the homeless are having this problem, everywhere there is someone facing food insecurity, whether it be your neighbor or even your best friend. It might even be you that is struggling with food insecurity. This is happening because people are losing their jobs, food prices are going up, as are taxes and bills. You might drive down the street to go to work or school and see a homeless person asking for change. There is a better way to help them than giving them change. To solve this problem you can help your local food pantries.

“How?” you might ask, let me tell you. Back on Jan. 22, 2011, the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Inc. opened the United Methodist Church at 30 Carew St. in South Hadley. They serve 150 families a week. According to their website, (listed below), they distributed 131,196 pounds of food in 2017. You might be thinking, “What does this have to do with me?”

Let me tell you can help them by donating. Your local food pantries have to provide food for people and have to find people to donate cans and money. If you do not have a lot of money, our local pantry, Neighbors Helping Neighbors website states that $1 can be turned into 14 pounds of food.

You’re not the only ones helping. The students at Michael E. Middle School are helping too. They are collecting cans and other nonperishable foods to donate to the local food pantries. We are setting a goal of collecting 1,000 pounds of food. Also, to spread the word students are making, posters, flyers to hand out, and slides to present at lunch.

When you ready to donate, go to www.nhnfoodpantry.org to get the full details. Remember by donating you are saving the lives of your friends, neighbors and so many more people. That homeless person you see might not be there the next day. Believe me, you are making a difference, by donating even $1, you are still making a difference.

Nya Braithwaite

The writer is a fifth grader at Michael E. Smith Middle School in South Hadley.