Inspired by the contemporary children’s classic, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” Cheyanna Johnson, Child Hunger Corps Fellow, explores what happens when teenagers have regular access to snacks and meals.
If you give a teen a snack, feelings of hanger and stomach pains go away for a little while.
When those feelings go away, a teen stays in class instead of the nurse or principal’s office.
When a teen stays in class, they don’t fall behind their peers.
When a teen doesn’t feel left behind, school is a lot more fun.
When a teen enjoys school, their attendance improves.
If you give a teen a meal, they won’t focus on their hunger anymore.
When a teen isn’t focused on hunger, they will be focused and attentive in class.
When a teen is focused and attentive in class, they are prepared to learn.
When a teen is prepared to learn, their grades improve.
When a teen has good grades, their opportunities increase.
If you give a teen access to food, they can feed their family.
When a teen can feed their family, they don’t have to endanger themselves for money.
When a teen doesn’t prioritize money over safety, they can prioritize school over work.
When a teen can go to school instead of taking risks, they don’t create a permanent record.
When a teen doesn’t compromise their future, they live.
Teens are far more responsible for their families than many realize and are often burdened with adulthood too soon. Recognizing this obstacle is important to creating a support system to show that their community is invested in their future.
If you give a teen support, they will multiply your investment tenfold.