COLUMBUS, Ga — “At the end of the day, it’s very rewarding. Go home feeling good,” says Debra Gamble, of Feeding the Valley Kids Cafe.
Debra Gamble can go home feeling good because the work she does for Feeding the Valley’s Kids Cafe is so good– and so needed. She sees it in the faces of the kids she serves.
“Honestly, some of it just breaks your heart because they’re little kids all the way up to teen years. It makes you feel good to know they have gotten a hot meal– at least one hot meal– for the day, so . . .,” says Gamble.
“The biggest thing is we have to be aware there is a problem,” says Feeding the Valley Administrator David Shemwell.
Kids Cafe is one way Feeding the Valley specifically addresses the problem– the problem of hungry children.
“One in five children here in Muscogee County have a food insecurity problem,” says Shemwell.
Those children have no idea if they will have a next meal. The Feeding the Valley Kids Cafe makes food each day and distributes it to designated sites like churches and community centers where children can count on at least one hot meal a day.
This time of year, things are especially busy and donations especially low.
“People want to give around the holidays. Thanksgiving is one of our biggest donation times. But during the summers, people kind of forget. They’re on vacation, so donations do slack off during the summer months,” says Shemwell.
During the summer, Feeding the Valley’s Kids Cafe keeps very busy feeding an estimated 1500 meals per day. But the work doesn’t end when the school year starts.
“Normally, during the school year, we do approximately 1,000 meals each day,” says Shemwell.
“Keep the donations coming. It’s a great organization. I love working here. I’ve been here for about four years, and the work is just very rewarding,” says Gamble.
It’s rewarding work that only through the generosity of our community’s donations allows them to keep Feeding the Valley.