OUr story

Food 4 Kids Emerald CoastWhile traveling through the city of Detroit, MI. on a business trip one evening, I was negotiating some one-way streets in order to patronize a certain restaurant. I saw the restaurant but needed to drive behind it in an alley to get to their parking lot. While driving through the alley I noticed young kids in and around the restaurant dumpster with plastic bags. As I parked my car in the parking lot, it finally dawned on me that these kids were looking for food. I felt so guilty knowing that I would go inside this resaurant, order and eat whatever I wanted to, and a picture of these kids looking for food out of a dumpster. I didn’t go inside to eat, instead drove back to the rear of restaurant to find these kids and see what I could do to provide them with some food. Sad to say, they were already gone.

That night, a burden was placed on me. I thought that if this happened here in the city of Detroit, the same scenario would play out in my hometown of Pensacola, Florida. After returning home and the burden becoming stronger and stronger as time passed, I was able to meet with our county school superintendent. He verified everything I thought about that past week…..child hunger!

Many elementary school age children suffer from chronic hunger, some are fed a breakfast and lunch while in school, but what about the rest of the time? We cannot see what happens behind closed doors, especially on weekends. When was the last time you saw an eight year old hold up a sign at a street corner asking for food? This prompted me to help “our” kids in the community.

These young children don’t have a voice, or let me change that, the only sound they’ll make is a cry of Hunger”! I shared my vision and voice of helping these kids with some church members and also two of our elementary school principals, whose schools are at our church doorstep. Everybody was on board to help. On occasion I think about that night in Detroit, was I really lost……or?

My calling is to carry this ministry forward from now until, and then be able to pass it on. My ultimate achievement is to know that every child, in every community of any background here and beyond, will have proper sustainable nourishment. And through this ministry, a child can be a child…… a glitter in their eyes and a smile on their face. One can give a child all the pencils, papers and school books, but if a child has a pain in his or her belly from hunger, all of those items become null and void.


Roland Koomen,
Founder of Food 4 Kids Emerald Coast