JACKSBORO, Fla. - A Tennessee teacher said she was brought to tears earlier this month when one of her students "so innocently talked about food, and the lack of it."
Brooke Goins, a 21-year-old teacher at Jacksboro Elementary School, said the young student asked her "when the lady that puts food in his backpack was coming."
The child was inquiring about the school's guidance counselor. Goins wrote in a Facebook post on Oct. 2 that the boy said the guidance counselor would give him food and "he was out of it at home and needed more."
She wasn't sure of the counselor's schedule, as the school had a "short week," and she set off to figure out what food the boy liked so much.
"I asked if it was the macaroni bowls or the crackers, he said no. I asked if it was the spaghetti o’s, he laughed and told me no that they didn’t have those," Goines wrote online. "Then it happened... he looked at me and said, 'those little o’s (as he made a small circle with his hand), we don’t have those at my house, but when I do have them they give me a warm belly and help me sleep.'"
Goins said she "lost it" and "cried in front of 20 little people. No kid should ever be hungry, ever."
So in an effort to help the boy, Goins texted a group of teachers — and they all "put our money together and made sure that this sweet baby had some spaghetti o’s!"
The 21-year-old said she didn't publish her post to be praised, but wanted to note how much teachers care for their children. She explained that teachers often spend their own money on school supplies "to make sure that our kids have what they need to succeed," and on that day, it was food.
"I want people to know that teachers are humans, we love your kids and want the very best for them. Some days we get frustrated and feel overwhelmed, but today we did what was best for a child. Will it show on a test score? Nope! Do we care? Nope!"
Goins said that as a teacher, she experiences "a crazy rollercoaster of emotions ... but today it was worth every tear that fell to see him light up when that bag was put into his backpack!"
Goins said her group of teacher pals has started a food pantry for the students of Jacksboro Elementary. Those looking to donate food or hygiene products can send them to: 164 Jacksboro Elementary School Road in Jacksboro, Tenn., zip code 37757, attention: food pantry.