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It might be surprising to learn that many Los Alamos children are going hungry.
“I think the community would be stunned if they realized how many students were affected,” said Assets In Action Coordinator Bernadette Lauritzen. Assets in Action is a community building program of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation, funded by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board.
To help alleviate the problem, Assets is devoting the entire month of March to their March on Hunger campaign. The program will be collecting lunch and snack items such as granola bars, fruit snacks, hand-held soups and oatmeal cups that can be handed out to kids at the schools.
“It was something that we decided to do with the Assets program when we saw a large number of students in the community that sometimes come to school without breakfast or don’t have a lunch,” Lauritzen said.
The idea originated with a meeting the Los Alamos Public Schools superintendent held a number of years ago, in which each school identified what need looked like in their community. The campaign is now in its fourth or fifth year.
According to Lauritzen, multiple agencies, organizations and individuals are working toward more long-term solutions to the problem.
“A lot of different school sites work with different organizations like the churches, that will give them bagged lunch or bagged snacks,” Lauritzen said. “I know stories about the Rotary and Kiwanis helping out and schools where employees are helping out of their own pocket, because they know the need.”
Lauritzen said that at mid-month collections are coming slowly. She is always pleased when a collection site calls to ask her to pick up because they have too much.
Collection sites are located at the main offices of the Los Alamos high school, middle school and Mountain Elementary, the Los Alamos and White Rock visitor centers and senior centers and at KRSN AM 1490/FM 107.1.
Those who prefer to send a check should make it out to Assets in Action, 77 Isleta Drive, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544.
For more information, contact Lauritzen at AssetsInAction@att.net or 695-9139.
Assets in Action is also conducting the Community Action Survey about awareness of the 40 Developmental Assets. Take the survey at surveymonkey.com/s/LosAlamosCommunityAssets.