Feeding Hungry Kids – One Bagel At A Time


Mother’s Day having just passed, it got me pondering the beloved topic of…yes, Moms. There are straight and gay moms, liberal and conservative moms, free spirited and helicopter moms, yoga and mindful moms.  There are the iconic Jewish and Italian moms, stay at home and working moms. Boho and Yuppie Moms, Dance and Trans Moms.

Now, meet Bagel Mom.

Deborah Kassin Elkins is busy.  Every day while most moms drop off kids and go to work or to the gym for some “down” time, Deborah, mom of four, is racing to Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, New York Bagels and Sprouts gathering bagels, bread and other various sundries that would otherwise be thrown out.  This includes holiday cookies, pastries and baked goods that are discontinued.  Her trunk looks like a set piece for “The Great Food Truck Race.”

“What motivates me is that 40% of all food gets thrown out!  The employees of these food stores are not allowed to take food home.”

Deborah then speeds off to deliver the food to hungry students at UCLA and Paul Revere Middle School,  She even hits a Starbucks or two, giving treats away to the baristas because ”you know, most of them are hungry kids.”

What a gal.  What a Mom!

“It gets me crazy thinking about kids going hungry” she says, anxiously.  “Every college has starving students because of the high cost of admission.”

This takes neurotic Jewish mothering to a whole new level. Seriously, who can compete?

Well, you, actually.

Deborah is calling for other Bagel Moms to come and share in her doughy work. No resume or CV required, just time, wheels and a generous smile. She inspired a “Bagel Dad”. He feeds the hungry kids at Pali High and Temescal, an extension of the high school.

Deborah feeds office staff and teachers too.  She “gifts” food in the teacher’s lounge. She drives into the parking lot of these institutions and it’s like Moses parting the Red Sea.  The students swarm her. She loves spreading the feeling of abundance.

“Nobody knows my name, but everyone knows the Bagel Mom.”

Before she was “Bagel Mom”, she was “Auction Mom”, getting donation items for her kids’ schools and volunteering, of course.  I’ll wager this chick has some seriously good karma coming her way.  I’m sticking to her like butter on a bialy.

Deb doesn’t have to make the world a better place, she’d be content to make it less hungry.

One cool kick-back from all this is that her four kids are learning kindness and gratitude. She’s pretty stoked about that.

“You don’t have to be Oprah to save lives.”  

Deborah Elkins, changing the community, one bagel at a time.

For more about Bagel Mom, visit www.facebook/thebagelmom



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