Column: Hungry kids

To all of you who have written checks and raised money to feed our hungry kids in the four adjoining public school districts, THANK YOU! Your help has made a significant difference to the lives of many youngsters. We hope you will continue to support this significant project.

In the 2016-17 school year in the PUSD, HUSD, and CVUSD and MUSD (Mayer) school districts our Hungry Kids Project volunteers packed weekend food for an average of 547 youngsters. We estimate that each week in the 2017-18 school year we will be packing weekend food for 550 to 600 youngsters. These are students who have been identified by school staff as having little or no food available to them on weekends.

Each food bag costs $6.50. Multiply that amount by the 547 students we averaged last year X 38 school weeks and you will understand how much money we have to raise. Every dollar goes to the purchase of food. There are no overhead expenses.

I regret to report to you that we still have far too many youngsters in our public schools who are homeless. In 2016-17 the numbers were PUSD-53; HUSD-362; CVUSD-251; MUSD-152, for a total of 818. These students are served by our Hungry Kids Project.

So, if you are new to the community or haven’t heard about this critically important project, we ask for your help.

Checks can be written to the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County and sent to the YCCF (Yavapai County Community Foundation) District Office, 300 E. Willis St., Prescott, AZ. 86301. Mark the check “Hungry Kids.”

I thank you, and I know our youngsters will be very, very grateful.

To all my friends who love reading a good book, I have a recommendation for you.

The book title is “Closing the Circle.” The author is a local resident, Robert Miller. It is a beautifully written account of growing up in Cuba and of returning last year to bike the island with his wife, Tina Cobos, along with a former Prescott College roommate, and old friends and Prescott residents, Roy Smith and his wife, Brenda. Of added interest is a perceptive analysis of the Bay of Pigs fiasco with rich narratives provided by some of his family members, a few of whom were imprisoned by Castro.

Bob’s sensitive, and often hilarious insights, along with poignant anecdotes, highlight the three separate but related yarns that he spins for us. This is the only book I’ve read in recent years that I literally could not put down. Friend or not, if you can’t find this extraordinary family memoir at the library or bookstore, I’ll lend you my copy.