In 2014, Champale Anderson of St. Louis, Missouri noticed that her kids’ friends were always hungry when they came over to her house after school. After learning that many of their families didn’t have the means to provide them with more than one meal per day, Champale, a mother of six, was heartbroken. It got her thinking: were there other children in her neighborhood who were going hungry, too?
That’s when Champale had an idea. Since she lived so close to a school bus stop, she realized that she could help hungry kids in her neighborhood by giving them bagged lunches and snacks as they got off the bus after school.
Champale quickly got to work, using her own money to buy and prepare enough sandwiches and snack supplies for 100 lunches. Within minutes after the children’s arrival, all 100 of the lunch bags were gone. It was clear that there was, in fact, a huge need for her lunches, and after seeing the smiles they brought to the children’s faces, Champale knew that she had found her calling.
Every school day since then, Champale has given out bagged lunches and snacks to hundreds of kids in her neighborhood. Her initiative, which she now calls Champ’s Teardrops, is a vital part of her community – especially for those families who struggle to make ends meet. Champale is widely revered as a local hero, providing endless love, warmth, and generosity to the kids in her neighborhood who need it most.
In August, Champale started a GoFundMe campaign to help fund her efforts, which has since raised a staggering $90K. Champale is excited to use the money from her campaign to bring Champ’s Teardrops to other communities in St. Louis. Her ultimate dream is to raise enough money to open up a recreational center for the children in her neighborhood.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Champale said, “I didn’t have a great childhood. It was pretty rough… That made me not want any other kid to go through that.” She continued, “I know I can’t stop [tough times], but I know I can slow it down just a little bit.”
To learn more about Champale and her mission to feed the children of St. Louis, listen to her interview on the True Stories of Good People podcast.
Main image credit: Evie Hemphill, St. Louis Public Radio