PFC meets with school partners three times a year. In August 2021, PFC met with Mike Davis Elementary School Counselor Rachel Lefever. 528 students attend Mike Davis Elementary. They are predominantly Hispanic and African American and 87% are classified as economically disadvantaged. 37% of the students are English Language Learners and 4% are homeless. PFC has provided Power Packs to students at Mike Davis for the past seven years. Mike Davis increased their school rating from a C (2018/2019) to an A school this past year. Counselor Lefever shared this story.
Kindergarten student Miguel* was a good student, neatly dressed, and well behaved. One day at lunch, he complained to his teacher that he was hungry all the time. The teacher pulled Miguel aside and asked about his home life. She learned that Miguel was homeless. He was living with his father and doubled up with his uncle and cousins.
Miguel’s mom had not yet come to the United States. The teacher asked Miguel why he was hungry and what he was eating at home. Miguel answered, “we eat cockroaches.”
Cockroaches carry a variety of pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and fungi. They can transmit hepatitis, cholera, typhoid fever, and more. While some cultures do eat cockroaches, Miguel’s family chose to eat them out of desperation. They had no food in the refrigerator or cupboard.
In our land of plenty and bounty, this should never happen to children. The teacher enrolled Miguel and his cousins in the Power Pack program. When the school can, they send home extra Power Packs for the family.
In May 2022 we learned that Miguel’s mother is now reunited with the family. The family is still doubled up with the cousins, but having an extra adult and extra income is helping. We also learned that Miguel needed dental work and NCEF provided a referral for services.
Miguel started first grade a few days ago. He is still a good student, neatly dressed, and well behaved. Now he comes to school every Monday with a full belly, and no longer needs to eat cockroaches. Miguel has a bright future, thanks in part to the Power Packs he receives each week.
*Name changed for privacy and confidentiality