Bradley Schwab is a 6th grader at Sterling Middle School. He was born with dwarfism, a unique medical condition that results in short stature. Despite his size, Bradley is a towering presence in the hearts of many people. He is the life of his classroom and a joy to his teachers.
Like many other students at Sterling Middle School, Bradley relies on the meals he receives at school to keep him full, happy, and ready to learn. And every Friday, as he jumps off the bus, he exclaims, "It's Hope Packs day!"
Midwest Food Bank's Hope Packs program provides at-risk children with supplemental weekend food. This allows children to arrive at school on Monday morning filled with nutritious food and ready to learn.
"During COVID-19, we saw students lose weight rapidly because all of a sudden they didn't have access to regular meals," says School Counselor Casey Ahmad. She describes Hope Packs as a life-raft for children who are struggling with food-insecurity. "I think Covid opened our eyes to how much these students rely on the food they receive here at school to sustain them."
Bradley and his peers love the Hope Packs program – and are often asking for additional Hope Packs to take home to share with their siblings. One of Bradley's favorite items in Hope Packs is Muscle Milk. "It makes me feel strong!" he says.
"Every day, I have kids that come to me with struggles - nutrition, mental health, or academics," says Casey. "Being able to meet those needs gives me hope."
If you would like to help Bradley and thousands of students like him, click here for more information, or to donate.