Hunger is a serious problem in the United States.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that about one in every eight families in this country had struggled with food insecurity in the previous year. Despite how prevalent this issue is, a personal account of it is enough to break anyone’s heart — including two celebrities who are about as far removed from hunger as possible.
Jennifer Lopez and fiancé Alex Rodriguez recently made sure a lot of kids in Tennessee would feel the kind of food security they are blessed with, at least for the foreseeable future. The famous couple donated a year’s worth of meals to the food pantry at Jacksboro Elementary School after seeing a teacher’s plea for help online.
On Oct. 2, Brooke Goins, who teaches at the school in Jacksboro, wrote a post on Facebook that detailed her encounter with a student who faced hunger at home.
“He asked when the lady that puts food in his backpack was coming,” Goins wrote, noting that it was a short week so the food handout wouldn’t be happening that particular week. The boy then told her how much he looked forward to the food because it gave him a “warm belly” and helped him sleep at night.
Goins said she cried and reached out to other teachers in the district, who banded together to buy the child some food and eventually set up a food pantry for hungry students at the school. Her post went viral, earning more than 47,000 reactions and being shared more than 40,000 times.
Two of the people who saw that touching post were Lopez and Rodriguez. On Oct. 23, Lopez wrote her own Facebook post that revealed just how much Goins’ story affected the pair.
“When I saw this story, it brought tears not just to my eyes, but Alex’s as well,” Lopez wrote. The Grammy-nominated artist then wrote that she and the former American League MVP were both part owners of a ready-made meal company called Tiller & Hatch, and that they had donated a year’s supply of its meals to the school.
“We are happy to be in business with partners who also believe that no child should ever have to go to sleep hungry,” Lopez wrote in the post, which included a video of the meals being delivered.
Goins reacted to Lopez’s post by writing, “Love us some J-Lo and A-Rod!”
For information about food banks in your own area, visit FoodFinder online.