May 30, next Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger 5th Sunday Promotion | Check www.texasbaptists.org/worldhunger for promotion videos and resources.
We Have No Hunger in Whitehouse, Texas!
Ray Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church Whitehouse, Texas, a predominantly upper middle class city close to Tyler, was like most of his church members and neighbors when asked the question, “Where do you find hungry children in Whitehouse?” Until recently, his answer would likely have been, “Hungry children??” “In Whitehouse??”
Until the day when one of his congregants, a third-grade teacher at Higgins Elementary, said to him, “You won’t believe what happened to me today at school! Something I would have never guessed would have happened at MY school in Whitehouse, Texas!”
It was Monday morning and this teacher had her lunch sitting on her desk. One of her third-grade boys came up and asked her, “Is that your lunch?” She replied that it was as she continued to write on the board. About that time, the little boy grabbed the sack and ran out into the hall. When the teacher found him, he was stuffing the contents of the lunch into his mouth as fast as he could choke it down.
“Why did you take my lunch?” she asked him as she walked him to the principal’s office. He said, “I haven’t had much to eat all weekend, and I’m hungry.” The little 9-year old boy considered the cost and decided it was worth it…grab what you can, get a few bites, even if you do get in trouble.
This story was so disturbing to this teacher, her pastor, and other members of First Baptist, that it compelled them to answer the serious question, “Does Whitehouse have children who come to school on Monday morning and are hungry from eating very little all weekend??”
The result has been a wonderful project coordinated and funded by First Baptist Whitehouse and, as of now, the Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger. Using the East Texas Food Bank model, volunteers from the church sent letters to all the children in Higgins on the free lunch program explaining the Backpack Kids program they were starting. They then bought backpacks from the Food Bank and now fill them every Thursday with non-perishable food to be sent home with children who have a signed permission slip on Fridays.
Out of 287 children on free lunch in Higgins Elementary, 90-100 children go home every weekend with a backpack full of food.
Ray Davis and members for First Baptist Church Whitehouse decided to stare into the face of hunger in their community rather than looking away and make a difference in the lives of precious children in need. These volunteers admitted there are indeed hungry children in Whitehouse, and it is unacceptable when we have resources to do something about it!
If you are interested in starting a backpack program in your school, please contact Joyce Gilbreath, email@example.com, 214-828-5190.
Because you give, we are able to give back to those in need.