Teachers often do far more than simply impart knowledge. Sometimes, they’re on the front lines of the battle against hunger.
Brooke Goins is a teacher at Jacksboro Elementary School in Campbell County, Tennessee. In the middle of a lesson recently, she was brought to tears when a little boy innocently asked when the guidance counselor would be handing out free food again.
See, Jacksboro sends canned and dry goods home with students who live below the poverty line. Of course, Brooke was aware of this program, but she’d never given it much thought before this moment. Suddenly, she realized without the school’s support, this child wouldn’t have anything to eat.
She asked the boy what items he liked best in the supply basket, and it was his response that left her in tears.
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.’ I lost it. I cried in front of 20 little people. No kid should ever be hungry, ever.
Brooke quickly collected herself and did what teachers do best: She found a way to help! She texted a group of her teacher friends, who didn’t hesitate to pitch in some of their own money. Then Brooke headed to the grocery store to load up on food the child can make himself — including his favorite SpaghettiOs.
This amazing teacher posted her story on Facebook, and people started reaching out with offers of support and aid for the little one. Since then, he has been stocked with meals through the fall. And of course, Brooke will continue to check on him throughout the school year.
“I want people to know that teachers are humans,” she wrote. “We love your kids and want the very best for them. Some days we get frustrated and feel overwhelmed, but today we did what was best for a child. Will it show on a test score? Nope! Do we care? Nope!”
Thanks to this incident, her school district is starting a free food pantry for students, proving good things happen when people stand up against something that isn’t right. As Brooke reminded us, “It takes a village.” Everyone needs support to thrive, so we’re grateful for Brooke and all the other teachers out there who are making sure no child goes to bed hungry.
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