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NUTRITION  OF  BODY  AND  MIND   Going  to  bed  hungry  and  struggling  in  school  were  nothing  new  to  him,  but  through  

everything  he  never  let  a  smile  fade  from  his  lips.      

Julian  Thomas  is  an  energetic  10-­‐year-­‐old  who  is  never  seen  without  a  smile  on  his  

face.  Before  coming  to  The  Full  Bellies  Project,  Julian  struggled  to  keep  up  with  his   classmates  both  in  and  outside  the  classroom.     Following  his  parents’  divorce  last  year,  Julian  felt  himself  being  lost  in  the  shuffle   without  a  clear  way  out.  His  mother’s  income  barely  covered  the  rent  and  bills,  and  she  had   to  choose  between  food  for  her  and  her  child  or  gas  to  get  to  work.     Julian  now  enjoys  participating  in  class,  making  good  grades  and  running  around   with  his  friends  during  recess.  After  school,  he  heads  over  to  The  Full  Bellies  Project  and   participates  in  preparing  dinner  and  not  only  doing  his  own  homework  but  also  helping   others  with  theirs.     The  Full  Bellies  Project  is  a  nonprofit  organization  located  in  Oklahoma  City,  Okla.,   with  the  goal  of  filling  the  stomachs  of  underprivileged  children  in  the  metro  area,  but  also   filling  their  minds  with  information  to  help  empower  them  to  reach  for  a  better  future.  The   organization  aims  to  help  children  who,  like  Julian,  struggle  in  school  primarily  because  of   lack  of  proper  nutrition  in  their  homes.        

Julian’s  mother,  Andrea  Thomas,  contributes  his  success  directly  to  The  Full  Bellies  

Project  and  is  excited  to  see  other  students  benefit  from  the  organization.      

“The  change  is  incredible;  he  has  gone  from  a  C  average  to  an  A  average,”  said  

Thomas.  “As  a  newly  single  parent  it  has  been  difficult  to  maintain  our  home  and  The  Full   Bellies  Project  has  helped  not  only  my  son  but  also  myself.  Now  Julian  is  able  to  help  make  


dinner  at  home,  and  when  I  am  at  work  late,  I  know  he  is  in  the  best  of  hands.  The  Full   Bellies  Project  has  helped  us  get  back  on  our  feet,  and  I  cannot  express  how  grateful  I  am   for  that.”      

The  change  in  Julian  has  not  only  been  noted  by  his  mother  but  also  by  the  

volunteers  at  The  Full  Bellies  Project.  Chelsea  Hanes,  a  volunteer  at  The  Full  Bellies  Project,   has  noted  such  a  change.    “When  he  first  came  in  he  was  a  small  little  boy  and  though  he  had  a  smile  on  his   face  you  could  tell  something  was  missing,”  Hanes  said.  “It  turns  out  what  he  needed  was   proper  nutrition  of  not  only  his  body  but  also  his  mind.  Not  only  has  he  become  one  of  our   more  active  children  in  the  program  but  he  now  leads  one  of  our  reading  groups,  helping   children  that  are  sometimes  even  older  than  he  is  analyze  and  discuss  their  books.”      

This  young  boy  is  one  of  many  beautiful  stories  that  have  been  shaped  by  The  Full  

Bellies  Project.  He  is  a  perfect  example  of  how  proper  nutrition  is  not  only  found  in  food   but  also  in  knowledge  and  the  sense  of  self  worth  associated  with  it.      

The  Full  Bellies  Project  is  located  in  Oklahoma  City,  Okla.,  and  is  always  accepting  

donations.  For  more  information  on  how  you  can  donate  or  nominate  someone  for   acceptance  into  the  program,  go  to  www.thefullbelliesproject.org.    


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