15-year-old Alex Mrak learned that Kids Eat Free is about more than feeding kids. Read his story:
Last week I went to Kids Eat Free at a Budget Suites. I knew we were giving food and toys to kids that get free school lunch but that's about it. The sign outside said daily, weekly or longer rates. This is their home.
I saw kids playing near the parking lot waiting for the lunch truck. We brought sidewalk chalk, bubbles and slap bracelets. A lot of kids came walking up from the surrounding buildings to see what we brought and what was happening. I started drawing hop scotch on the sidewalk and several of the kids started playing and even taught me a new game called "blackout." Most of these kids were wearing fleece pants, t-shirts and if they had shoes they were wearing flip flops or sandals.
When the food truck got there all the kids were happy, as that meal was most likely the only food they got all day. It made me feel good inside to bring these kids food and toys. After their lunch I played with some of the kids. I met a 6-year-old boy named Preston; he had a birth defect and was missing his arms. I played soccer with him, and he told me he has one brother still alive but had another brother and 2 sisters that died. I felt bad for him, he was a very nice kid as were the other kids I met.
He ran and played with me but it's pretty hard to run and play in flip flops. Preston told me he wanted to be a tow truck driver when he grew up. I asked him what toys he likes to play with. He told me he likes "transformer rescue bots." When it was time to leave he wanted to know exactly what day I would be back and if I could bring him a rescue bot. I told him I would come back next week but he wanted to know how many days and followed me to the car reminding me not to forget.
I know these kids need the food that the truck brings every day, but I think they also just want someone to play with them and let them know that they matter. I went back to Kids Eat Free today but Preston wasn't there. I hope he doesn't think I forgot about him. I will look for him again next week.
Join Alex in serving local kids with Kids Eat Free. Volunteers are needed!
Serve at Budget Suites Serve at Highland Acres