This September, Columbia Restaurants continues their tradition by including A Kid's Place in their annual Community Harvest program. This popular program allows customers to vote for A Kid's Place as the charity of their choice and receive 5% of the total food and beverage bill donated back to them. We are thrilled to be one of the local chosen non-profits!
Food and foster children share an interesting relationship. Neglect (including malnutrition) is a common form of child maltreatment. It is also one of the most easily remedied forms of abuse. Thirteen year old Cyrus entered foster care stating that he was a vegetarian, but when we offered him fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins he said he wasn't used to eating things like that. After exhaustive research, we discovered that for the past four years his diet had consisted of canned Veg-All and nothing else. He figured that since he only ate Veg-All he was a vegetarian. Imagine his surprise when we opened his world to include fresh vegetables, just like the ones in the cans he'd been consuming. He began to take interest in food preparation and began to expand his palette; as a result, he gained weight and took on a healthier appearance.
Food and its chemical make-up nourishes us from within, but food lovingly provided and prepared nourishes our soul. Food gets carried; to potluck dinners...family celebrations...funeral visitations. Food gets the spotlight; wedding cakes...buffet displays...lobster boils. Food gets shared; picnics...tailgates...recipes. Food is important in more ways than simple nutrition, and the benefits continue long after the meal is consumed.
With thanks to the Columbia's Community Harvest program, we are opening a world of opportunity to children who might otherwise miss out on these experiences. We are sharing. Sharing food, sharing sustenance, and sharing love. Thank you, Gonzmart Family and the Columbia Restaurants, for sharing!