San Jose Youth Raise Money for Blessings in a Backpack through Online Tutoring Program

San Jose Youth Raise Money for Blessings in a Backpack through Online Tutoring Program

When Ananya Maheshwari learned about Blessings in a Backpack on CNN, she immediately knew she wanted to get involved. Ananya, age 15, couldn’t believe that there were kids her age and younger who didn’t have enough food to eat on the weekends, and that these kids were losing access to meals when schools closed due to COVID-19.

“I discovered that 11 million children in the United States alone live in food-insecure homes and rely on their attendance at school to receive their daily meals. Because of the quarantine, these children weren’t eating three meals a day, nor can they fulfill their nutrition requirements. When the shelter-in-place started, I had never thought about how it would impact these kids,” Ananya shared. “I had always taken food for granted and had perceived that hunger was a challenge limited to existing in developing countries.”

Ananya’s mother, Puja, owns Brain-O-Magic, an Abacus Math tutoring company for kids. Ananya thought that teaming up with Brain-O-Magic would be the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and support for Blessings in a Backpack. She reached out to other Brain-O-Magic graduates (ages 8-15) and decided to host free Zoom workshops to tutor fellow students. At the end of each workshop, the graduates educate the current students and their families about Blessings’ mission and ask for a donation to help feed kids.

“This quarantine, though it has its downsides, has made a big impact on the way I view the world around me,” Ananya said. “I had always known that there were economic disparities but learning that people struggle to get their basic needs in a developed country on a day-to-day basis opened my eyes and broadened my horizons. I want to make a difference in any way that I can.”

So far, these kids have raised over $2,775—that’s almost 700 hunger-free weekends!

“Seeing these kids step up, learn how to teach, and work so patiently with other kids is truly remarkable,” Puja said. “We are so proud of them and thankful to them for making such a difference in the community.”

Blessings in a Backpack is incredibly grateful for this support, and we love seeing kids help kids! To find out more about Brain-O-Magic’s efforts, visit their GoFundMe page.