An innocent question asked by a young student has brought his teacher to tears and inspired a movement to make sure no student at the school goes hungry.
Brooke Goins teaches at Jacksboro Elementary School in Tennessee and she was stunned when one of her students asked her “when the lady that puts food in his backpack was coming”.
In a Facebook post Ms Goins wrote that the question made her break down and gave her an idea to help other disadvantaged students at the school.
“Today I cried for a child, a child who so innocently talked about food, and the lack of it,” she wrote on October 2.
Ms Goins knew that a counsellor at school regularly put food in the boy’s backpack but due to a school holiday, it hadn’t happened that week.
The boy told Ms Goins that he was out of food at home, so she asked him what his favourite food was.
“He looked at me and said, ‘those little o’s (as he made a small circle with his hand), we don’t have those at my house but when I do have them they give me a warm belly and help me sleep.’” the student said, referring to canned pasta called ‘SpaghettiOs’
Ms Goins said she burst into tears when she realised how important the snack that the counsellor put in the little boys backpack were.
“I lost it, I cried in front of 20 little people. No kid should ever be hungry, ever,” Ms Goins posted.
Ms Goins said she then reached out to her fellow teachers and asked if they could use some of their modest teacher’s salary to help her student.
“Remember, hearing people say that we spend all of our money in our classrooms? We spend it to make sure that our kids have what they need to succeed, and today we bought food,” she posted, along with a photo showing a trolley full of food for the student.
“We put our money together and made sure that this sweet baby had some SpaghettiOs” Ms Goins added.
Food pantry for needy students
The post was shared over 18,000 times and received thousands of offers to make sure the boy never went hungry.
“I did not expect the outpouring of love that you all have shown. I appreciate all of the texts, calls, and messages that I have received to offer help,” she posted.
Ms Goins updated her post to tell followers that not only does the student have more than enough of his favourite food but other students who need food now have access to a well stocked supply of groceries.
“We are now starting a food pantry for our students. Students will be able to get food whenever needed!” the proud teacher wrote.
“It’s a crazy rollercoaster of emotions being a teacher, but today it was worth every tear that fell to see him light up when that bag was put into his backpack!”
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