The History of Dare to Care
Bettsie Wild, Founder
In 2006, my then first grade daughter started coming home from school stating she was starving. I asked her if she ate her lunch and she said she was sharing with a friend who never had lunch and was hungry. We started sending extra food but it wasn’t long before my daughter was bringing the extra food home untouched. She explained to me that she was getting in trouble for sharing her food and that it was against the school rules.
The next day I approached the school with my daughter to discuss her dilemma and learned that many children in our schools for different reasons are not eating. For some it is financial and for others it may be abuse or neglect. Due to allergies, most schools do not allow children to share their lunches. And some cafeteria managers don’t allow children to have a hot lunch if they have unpaid charges.
Currently there are over thousands of children identified by district who need benefit of this program. These are children who routinely come to school with no sack lunch, no lunch money, and are unable to charge due to excessive unpaid charges. These students are identified by teachers, principals, nurses and other staff members.
That year, we helped 35 students in our neighborhood schools. The following year, Dare to Care, an official 501(c)(3) charity was created. Local fundraisers are held and we have celebrities helping promote the program. All money raised goes directly to feeding the children as we are based on volunteers and donations.
We are currently feeding 2,500 children in multiple school districts. We hope to grow even more this year. Our goal is to ensure that “No Child Goes Hungry” in all of Alaska. Every school in the district reported a need for this program. For some it is only 2-5 children, but for many it’s 40 and more. Some of the high schools have over 100 children that need our help.
Hunger and abuse are everywhere – in all neighborhoods. The estimated budget to cover every child identified in the Anchorage School District alone is $250,000 annually.
Please join our efforts and help us ensure that ‘No Child Goes Hungry’ in our schools! Together we do make a difference.
Alaska is number one in the nation for child abuse and neglect and 26% higher than the next state in line.
There were over 2,500 reported allegations of abuse and neglect in Alaska for the month February 2007 alone.
There are 34 million hungry people in America – 14 million are children.
1 in 6 American children live in poverty.
Every other person in a shelter is a child under 4 years old; and every 3rd person in line at a soup kitchen is a child.
There are an estimated 2,400 homeless children in the Anchorage School District.
There are 27 Title One Schools in the Anchorage School District. These are schools that have 50 – 100% student body that is below the federal poverty level.