DANVILLE — One woman couldn’t ignore what was happening in her community. Children were going hungry, so this Angel Among Us decided to do something about it.
A church is where you feed your soul. But every Friday, these volunteers feed the city’s children.
“I have a passion for children and especially children who are disadvantaged.”
Rose Gates was a parish nurse at Trinity Lutheran who needed a project. She found it at the school next door.
“They get their breakfast and lunch at school but then they’re hungry on the weekends. It isn’t because parents are negligent. Many times single moms and mom and dad are working but the economy as it is, there’s not much leftover money for food.”
So she launched the Food for the Children backpack program. Rose wrote grants. People and companies donated. She started out feeding 25. Six years later, she’s helping 200.
“As we grew, we realized we had to be more efficient.”
And they are. Rose and her army of volunteers can crank out and deliver those 200 bags filled with nutritious food in about an hour.
“It’s just a wonderful group of people.”
Who are putting smiles on students’ faces at seven different schools; like here at Edison. Social worker Kristen Wilson wanted to start it as soon as she got here in the fall.
“Everyone was like, ‘Call Rose.'”
She did and Rose was more than willing to add Edison to the list.
“Our kids have really benefited from that and just enjoy that specialness of getting those bags.”
“It teaches you what you should have for a meal everyday. When my dad doesn’t cook, I can eat some of that.”
The kids love the extra food and don’t always just keep it for themselves.
“I share with my sister. Sometimes my brother, even though he gets one.”
“I feel really good about it. We are achieving our goal.”
Rose knows that goal could get harder to meet. There are more and more hungry children every year, but that’s not stopping this 81-year old angel from trying.
“As long as I can put one foot in front of the other, I’m going to take care of them.”