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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.