Life with his young, single mom was like walking on eggshells. David had to always be on guard to avoid provoking her temper.
From the time David was 10, his mom berated and belittled him until David felt he couldn’t do anything right. She drummed “you’re bad” into his head so often that he would recite it to himself when she wasn’t there. Her tirades often finished with her usual punishment of denying him dinner, lunch or whatever meal she felt he didn’t deserve.
David arrived at Covenant House thin and pale. Shy and withdrawn, he was barely able to trust that there would be enough food for him at mealtimes.
As heartbreaking as David’s experience was, his is not an uncommon story.
Slowly, David began to open up with the staff and other kids in the house. He would say how grateful he was to be able to fill his plate. He no longer wondered if he would go hungry and when he’d get his next meal. David didn’t know that things could be different until he came to Covenant House. He said that he felt he was accepted and cared for–a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
Food is so important at Covenant House. When we feed kids, we are offering them physical and emotional nurturing. We keep regular mealtimes so that kids know they can rely on and trust us.
Like most families, staff and youth share meals to catch up on the events of the day. Whenever a youth comes through our doors, day or night, we ask if they’re hungry and we feed them. The food we give our kids shows them we care and can be depended on.
David was soon able to go back to school in the community. Eventually, we found David a place in a group home and he was on his way, full of hope for his future.