Schools in Ferguson, Missouri continued to be closed on Monday amid the ongoing community upheaval that has plagued the low-income St. Louis suburb since the police shooting of an unarmed teen—leaving many schoolchildren, normally reliant on the school-lunch program, to go hungry.

Highlighting the wide public support for the residents of Ferguson, an online fundraising campaign to help provide food for the children has raised over $62,000 in just four days.

“As the world watches the events unfolding in Ferguson, many people have thought, ‘How can I help?'” wrote North Carolina public school teacher Julianna Mendelsohn, who launched the fundraiser last Thursday on the crowdfunding site Fundly.

“As a public school teacher, my first thought is always about the children involved in any tragic situation like this. When I found out school had been canceled for several days as a result of the civil unrest, I immediately became worried for the students in households with food instability,” Mendelsohn continued. Schools in Ferguson were scheduled to begin last Thursday but due to the ongoing unrest were rescheduled to open on Monday. However, increased violence over the weekend has caused further delays.

“Many children in the U.S. eat their only meals of the day, breakfast and lunch, at school,” Mendelsohn added. “Regardless of your opinion on the civil unrest in Ferguson, there is no need for innocent children to go hungry because of it.”


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