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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hungry In Delco?

I live is a relatively affluent part of Delaware County. Most people where I live don't have to worry about their next meal...or do they? With the way the economy is today you never know if your neighbor is facing bankruptcy or losing their home or even just doesn't have enough food to eat. Many food banks in the area have closed or cut back on how much food a family can get. Sometimes a family's food supplies run out before the month is half over. What to do?

The real question should be why aren't we each individually doing something? Why aren't more of us actively providing food for our less fortunate neighbors? How often do you go to the store and could pick up a product that is 10 for $10 and could drop it off at the food bank? Or you could fill out a form to give to your local food bank? Or we could use the dollars we get back from CVS to buy foodstuffs for the food pantry?

Often we do these things around the holidays and forget to give during the rest of the year. News flash--people are hungry all year round. Hunger doesn't stop just because you gave over the holidays. And it's not just a single person who is hungry, it's entire families. Families with medical issues that mean they can't go out to work. Families where there is abuse in the household. Families that are just POOR. More and more people are just that...POOR. We can't ignore the word. Poor is not a dirty word. It's a reality in the world today. Our world. My world. Your family's world. Our childrens' world in the future. Poverty is not going to go away but we can mitigate it. We can all do our best to help people are in need.

Sometimes I listen to senators and representatives talk about cutting entitlement programs. And I think of the lines at the food pantries and want to scream at them YOU WANT TO CUT WHAT? If they have to cut something cut the ability of people to buy junk food (and yes you can still buy junk food with food stamps, also known as SNAP in Pennsylvania.) Provide them with healthy and fresh food and teach them how to cook it. Like other problems today good nutrition would help alleviate them.

Many medical problems have their roots in poor nutrition. Education problems often are partially due to poor nutrition. Anti-social and criminal behavior has been linked to poor nutrition. So more and better food will help solve a variety of problems. Sure, it won't happen all at once. It will take years. Yes, that's the disheartening part. No instant gratification. No magical transformation from the way things were to the way things can be.

But the real magic, the real magic is in the hearts of the people who reach out and give, people who pay it forward, or people who hope someone else will pay it forward in case their children ever need food. You will get instant gratification. Instantly feeling good about what you've done. So get out there. Give. The real magic is how good you'll feel doing it. Fill the bellies of hungry children. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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