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Maryland kindergarten teacher distributes food to students hit hard by pandemic

Kindergarten teachers wear many hats, but this Maryland teacher Margaret Norris probably never dreamed “food distributor” would be one of them.

“This week it’s 133 bags. One hundred for the community center, 33 ready for emergency deliveries,” said Morris.

When the pandemic hit, Noriss realized families in her area would be in trouble.

“And we were told that all Maryland schools were closing. Immediately the teachers we knew our children would be food insecure,” said Norris.

She sprang into action, buying as much food as she could afford, sorting giant bags of rice and beans into smaller portions along with helpers Sandra and Marisol, and handing them out every week at the local community center.

“The very first week that Friday, March 13 we sent home 100 bags of food. And since then, with donations from my friends and family and help from the community, we’ve been able to provide 100 plus bags here at the center every week,” said Norris.

“And so many families are struggling, struggling to pay their rent they’re struggling to get food on the table, and this is a huge effort,” said Robert Goldman, president of Montgomery Housing Partnership.

For Norris, the motive is simple.

“Kids have to eat, they have to eat; and when they come back to me and they’re in the virtual classroom or the real-life classroom I need them to have eaten. I need their brains have been nourished, they need to grow properly. This is not charity that we’re giving to them... This is solidarity that we’re working together, because their children are my children, and they all need to be fed,” said Norris.

She will continue to do it, as long as that need is there.

“Really, Ms. Norris is an inspiration to the community,” said Goldman.

In a perfect world, children wouldn’t go hungry in one of the richest countries on earth just because schools are closed.

But until that happens, generous people like Margaret Norris will give their time and money to make sure no child goes hungry.