Mary Ulvin loves teaching second grade at Morningside Elementary in Salem. She has been a teacher for more than 16 years and says this is her favorite grade to teach.
“Second grade is the best because the kids are independent and innocent. They are so kind and loving,” she said.
Mary is looking forward to a relaxing summer vacation, but she knows that some local children may not have this luxury.
“I’m always surprised when vacations roll around and children are not excited about vacations from school,” she said. “A big part of it is during vacation they might not get enough to eat.”
Mary has seen hungry children firsthand.
“I’ve had students who come into class hungry and crying because they didn’t eat breakfast. When your tummy’s rumbling, it’s really hard to concentrate and focus. It’s really tough to get kids to function at a higher level when they don’t have their basic needs met.”
Mary believes that every child should have access to the healthy food that they need to grow, learn and thrive.
“In our country, we shouldn’t have any child going hungry,” Mary said. “It’s not a luxury to get three meals a day, it’s a necessity. It’s our future. These are kids who might not be able to achieve as much as they potentially could. It’s everybody’s problem because we’re all in this together.”
You can give children what they need this summer by donating food to Marion-Polk Food Share. You can drop off food to 1660 Salem Industrial Dr NE in Salem. The food that is most needed is peanut butter, tuna, soup, stew, pasta, rice, fruit and vegetables.