Sunday, August 14: Prayer for Children who are Hungry and Struggle to Focus in School.

Back Story:
At St. Mary’s, we love to eat. Most, if not all of our children, have plenty to eat, and if they skip breakfast or lunch, it’s a choice not a necessity.
In 2011, State funding for free/reduced price breakfast and lunch was cut $300–500 per child (speaker at Faith Summit, St. Martin’s Houston, August 11, 2011). In Cypress, Texas, approximately 25% of the elementary students are signed up for free/reduced price lunches (

Today we are invited to join with faith communities throughout Harris County to pray for children who come to school hungry because of their family’s limited financial resources.

DAY 1 Prayer for Children who are Hungry and Struggle to Focus in School

Did you know that many of the children within our community don’t have enough to eat? In 2009, 24.1% of households with children reported they did not have enough money for food within the last 12 months. While a School Breakfast Program and a National Lunch Program are available in a number of our schools, many children in Harris County do not participate because of the stigma associated with receiving free meals.

School breakfast is not only effective in reducing hunger among needy children, it is also effective in improving nutrition; preventing obesity; improving students’ attendance, attentiveness and achievement. With growing budget challenges facing our families and our schools, it is likely that more of our children will be affected.

Let’s Pray

Father, none of us would want our own children to struggle in school because of a lack of food or proper nutrition. And yet we know this is true for many of the children in our community.

First of all we ask you to help our policy makers to make the right choices for our children as they address this important issue. Give them wisdom and direction from heaven.

Jesus, when your disciples told you that the crowd of 5,000 was hungry, you said, “You give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14:16) Awaken your people across this city to be involved. Raise up advocates who can make a difference in the lives of children, families and schools. (Matthew 9:38)

Give us your heart of compassion for those who are hurting. Fill us with your wisdom, power and grace so that we, your people, can respond in tangible and practical ways. (Isaiah 11:2) All of this we ask in your name, the name of Jesus, and for the sake of the children of our city.

Can We Be The Answer?

Children at Risk wants to see the universal free school breakfast programs made available to every school that has at least 80% of their students living at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. Perhaps you can help. Other Resources Related to Hunger:

The Houston Food Bank:

Mission Centers of Houston:

Cypress Assistance Ministries

One community decided to get involved – after hearing a presentation during the first Week of Prayer, a staff member from Sterlingwood Church, Melanie Ayers, went to the Galena Park ISD to lobby for Universal Free School Breakfast. Because of her voice, the information provided by Children at Risk, and all of our prayers, GPISD has instituted this program. Do you know other stories that you can tell about where people are making a difference.

Do you know other stories that you can tell about where people are making a difference?

How is God inviting us to share the abundance of our food with others?

Tomorrow, August 15, the Feast Day of St. Mary the Virgin, we will pray for children from disadvantaged homes.

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