Brooke Goins, a teacher from Jacksboro Elementary School in Jacksboro, Tennessee shared a heartwrenching post on Facebook about a conversation she had with a student about food which left her in tears.
‘Today I cried at work. Not because I hate my job, or that it is just too hard (it really is). Today I cried for a child, a child who so innocently talked about food, and the lack of it,’ she began her post. ‘He asked when the lady that puts food in his backpack was coming.’
A Shocking Revelation
Goins admits that the question caught her off guard but she knew that the boy was referring to the guidance counselor. The counselor would occasionally slip food into the bags of students who needed it. ‘I told him I wasn’t sure about this week since it is a short week,’ Goins’ post continued. ‘He told me he was out of [food] at home and needed more.’
Goins asked the student what it was that he liked to eat, and listed the things that the counselor sometimes slipped into their bags including macaroni and cheese and SpaghettiOs. That’s when the boy told her that his family never had SpaghettiO’s at home because they weren’t able to.
‘He looked at me and said, “Those little o’s (as he made a small circle with his hand), we don’t have those at my house, but when I do have them they give me a warm belly and help me sleep,”‘ Goins wrote.
Hearing this was just too much for Goins. She broke down and started crying in front of her entire class. She couldn’t bear the thought that a single one of her students might ever go hungry. ‘I lost it, I cried in front of 20 little people. No kid should ever be hungry, ever,’ she wrote. She immediately sent a text to a group of teachers from her school. She asked them to see what they could do to help the student with food.
The teachers all pooled their money and resources. Together they managed to collect some
Together, they all pooled their money and were able to get some items for him to take home that day. ‘Yep, we put our money together and made sure that this sweet baby had some spaghetti o’s,’ she wrote as she shared an image of the shopping cart with the food items inside it.
She didn’t share the story to earn praise for herself and the other students, however. Her only real purpose for sharing the story was to help others understand just how much teachers do, and should, care about their students.
‘I did not write this for anyone to get praise, nobody did it for the praise,’ Goins wrote. ‘I want people to know that teachers are humans, we love your kids and want the very best for them,” the post continued. ‘Some days we get frustrated and feel overwhelmed, but today we did what was best for a child. Will it show on a test score? Nope! Do we care? Nope!’
What Goins never expected was to have her post go viral, and for the teachers to be showered with praise for their actions. Since then, Jacksboro Elementary School has opened a food pantry to make sure that all the students will go home with food to eat.
Goins asked people to consider donating food to the project. ‘I work at an amazing school with awesome people who truly love what they do! Thank you all for offering anything and everything, you guys rock,’ she wrote.
Goins was in for another surprise, however. Not only did people gladly donate food, but she even received help from an unexpected source. Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez shared a post on Instagram where she stated that reading Goins’ post immediately made her cry and that she wanted to help.
Taking It Further
Lopez and her fiancee, Alex Rodriguez, happened to be part owners of a company called Tiller & Hatch. The company makes and sells frozen meals that are designed to be used in pressure cookers. To help the project the company would be donating meals to the school.
Message From J-Lo
“We decided to donate a years worth of their yummy, healthy meals, for the students and their school’s food pantry,” Lopez wrote in her post. “This is why being a business owner, and having actual ownership in companies (not licensing), is so important to me and Alex, especially as Latinos. It’s about showing our community, this is what life can be. You can take charge and take ownership.”
Lopez continued: “We are happy to be in business with partners who also believe no child should EVER have to go to sleep hungry. Everyone should have access to delicious, nutritious food.” This just goes to show what a big impact one small action can have.