Editorial: A worthy gift at Christmastime
What better gift to give than ensuring that no child in Delaware ever goes hungry? That is the noble goal of Harry Keswani of Harry K jewelry fame, founder of the Harry K Foundation.
The foundation held its sixth Christmas Ball recently - an annual sell-out event - and again raised nearly $200,000 to stock 34 food pantries at statewide schools to help feed underprivileged children. Over the summer, the foundation funded a Grab and Go program at a variety of locations so that even when school is not in session, children still have access to nutritious meals. More than 4,000 children participated in the program, which distributed 59,758 meals through 30 meal sites. In its first five years the foundation has spent about $700,000 on hunger-reducing programs.
The mission of the Harry K Foundation is not only to end hunger, but also to end food insecurity. It’s tough for the most innocent in our society to focus on learning in school, and participate in constructive summer activities, when they are hungry and worrying about when they will next eat again.
Sussex County, where the Harry K Foundation is headquartered, reportedly has the highest percentage of children of all three Delaware counties, 19.6 percent, at risk of going hungry without assistance. During the school year, that issue can lead to illness, absenteeism and poor academic performance. That cuts into the foundation of our society.
Through the Harry K Foundation, and so many other initiatives in our community aimed at solving problems, the private sector is doing what an increasingly burdened and debt-ridden federal government cannot. It’s not just good, but vital that such efforts continue so our neighborhoods and greater communities can provide the stable platform needed to allow children to be healthy, and become educated and productive citizens.
Harry Keswani’s Help Harry Halt Hunger initiative grew out of his concern “for the vast worldwide chasm between those who have the necessities to live comfortably and those who do not.”
When we do our part for this corner of the world, it’s one more step toward more stability.