Hunger Is Not a ChoiceGiving Is Did you have breakfast this morning? If you did not, was it because you chose not to eat?  Sadly, many people do not have a choice in whether they have breakfast or not.  Many know upon going to bed that they will not have that choice upon arising.  The choices they have may be limited to which meal or meals they will have to go without.  For many children, the only meals they can count on are the free and reduced-priced meals provided through school breakfast and lunch programs.  But during the summer months, while school is not in session, the only thing those children can count on is being hungry.  Excuse me; what I mean to say is hungrier.  But it does not have to be that way.  Here is your chance to give those children and families a choice. Hunger continues to be an ongoing crisis and Children's Mercy's involvement in addressing hunger will be an ongoing effort.  The Nurse Retention Committee coordinated our hospitals last drive that occurred mid-February thru the first week in March.  That food drive was successful; however, hunger is not overcome with a single food drive. The Nurse Professional Excellence Council of Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics is coordinating another food drive, specifically for breakfast cereal.  Why Cereal?  First off, kids love cereal.  It is a non-perishable food that is nutrient dense, often fortified with vitamins and minerals.  It also promotes milk consumption.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 41% of milk consumed by 6-12 year-olds is consumed with cereal. The cereal drive is organized in cooperation with Harvesters.  Harvesters is the area's only food bank.  Their network includes more than 620 non-profit agencies throughout a 26-county direct service area, including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children's homes, homes for the mentally disabled and shelters for battered persons.  Harvesters' network provides food assistance to as many as 66,000 people each week.  Harvesters is a certified member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, serving all 50 states.  Harvesters was named Feeding America's "Food Bank of the Year" for 2011. Multiple Harvesters barrels will be conveniently placed at the CMH main campus, CMH-South, CH-East, CM-North and CM-Broadway Clinics from May 21st - 27th. Exact locations include: CMH-Main Campus: employee shuttle drop off entrance & the lobby next to the garage CMH-South: one at the main and ED entrances next to security CM-East: main entrance CM-North: main entrance CM-Broadway Clinics: main lobby If you would like to learn more about hunger and ways to help or to make a donation in cash, please go to for more information. Your help and generosity is not only needed, it is greatly appreciated!