Friday, February 27, 2009

How a Drumstick puts things into perspective

If you stop at your local convenience store to buy one of those "Drumstick ice cream cones, let me put that purchase into focus. To you, that chocolate covered ice cream sundry with the nuts is a pretty normal afternoon snack.

However, for the 25 or so teens in the San Antonio Ayers Halfway House, a Drumstick is a luxury item. As a member of the ACTS team that conducted a three-day retreat at the Mexican-American Catholic College, we held a reunion Tuesday with the 12 teens who participated in the three-day retreat.   Unlike other church retreat reunions where deserts and cookies are brought, we were limited by what we could bring to the event.

Thus, the Drumstick.

The food at the Ayers House is very basic.  Each kid gets his required calories, but that's it.   At a recent breakfast with them during the retreat, the morning meal was Coco Puffs, peanut butter on bread and bacon.  Juice and water were also available.

I know there's a reason why these kids get this, and I have been told that it's an improvement over prison fare.  The state of Texas is telling these kids that with such a basic diet that they're cutting back on the frills like Drumsticks.

So what will happen to these kids when they leave the program?  Will they overload on ice cream, candy and other treats, or will they slowly readapt their diet?   And that's just their diet which makes me wonder.

And, that's why I am going to pray for those kids.

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