Champale Anderson has six kids of her own, and she happily says that she has 100+ special babies, whom she feeds every day. Yes! She has been doing this for the past five years out of her own pocket. When her kids had friends over, she used to notice how hungry they were. She also saw kids asking for change at gas stations. Poverty and drugs have been some significant issues in her St. Louis neighborhood, which she felt were drastically affecting the kids.
Anderson, 48, spoke to PEOPLE, "I'm always the one that kids come to whenever they're in trouble, [when] they need somewhere to stay, I'm usually the one that they can come stay with." After finishing her work in healthcare by 12:30 pm, she prepares the snack bags by 2:30 pm and keeps them ready by her home on a table. Children who arrive from the local schools get off the bus near her home and head straight to this table - a rigorous routine she follows every day for three hours. Some children come over for the second bag at 7 pm, and she gladly gives them the second packet. The mom of six also provides breakfast for a few kids and drives them a few blocks to school when late.
Her husband and her children, ages 8 to 25, and their friends often help her in getting the bags ready. Her funding requests initially did not have much of a response, but one day, a Fox2Now journalist turned out to be a blessing. After her story aired, and she set up the GoFund campaign, funds started flowing in, up to 54 times more than the goal amount. Anderson is overwhelmed by this response, and she is planning to set up more tables in four to five other neighborhoods.
FREE PARTY: Remember Champale Anderson? She's been serving 100+ free lunches a day and got some national attention. But now, for the first time, she's hosting a huge Halloween party. She says, "Our kids, in the community, most of them have never experienced anything like that." pic.twitter.com/k5g0JKc7et— Justina Coronel (@JustinaCoronel) October 24, 2019
This generous lady named her initiative Champ’s Teardrops. The snack bags she makes usually contain a sandwich, a drink, and treats like cookies, chips, or fruit. Whenever she can afford meat, she adds turkey or ham to the sandwiches. She changes the ingredients daily and tries to surprise them with variety. Her favorite is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and of course, her love, which makes them tastier she says. She also prepares separate lunch bags for children with nut allergies. Her only concern is if they dash off with the bag. She warns them to be safe on the road. Her new setup will be where kids will have easy and secure access.
When she first posted her sign for free lunches, she had 25 kids, and now she makes over 150 bags. She remembers how sometimes she did not have enough, and someone would knock on her door with three loaves of bread. She aims to reach at least 1000 bags and also to open a free recreational center for kids in her neighborhood.