Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This Monday, the USDA reported, "15% of U.S. households lacked enough money to feed themselves at some point last year.  In addition, 608 million of these households (with as many as 1 million children) had ongoing financial problems that forced them to miss meals regularly."
 In the on-going desire to political correctness, the report termed it "food insecure homes".  I found "food insecure home" a trivialization of the fact some people go to bed hungry because they don't have food.   
Data reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "42.4 million are getting food stamps - a 17% gain over last year.  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program jumped by 17.5%.  Congress is debating funding of the food subsidy programs."

Once I got over my aggravation on so many points in this report, I realized I had two options:
  1. Write my representatives in Congress and make my wishes clear.
  2. Plan to locally help those who are not able to feed their self or their family.
Both options require knowing the entire story. 
  1. Exactly what is being debated:  funding?  methods?  how to determine eligibility?  amount?  stop the programs?  This one will require some digging.
  2. Helping locally is, in part, easier: 
    1. Donate to the Lions Club's Thanksgiving basket project.
    2. Donate to the Salvation Army Christmas fund or a homeless shelter.
    3. Donate to the local Food Pantry (food, paper products, money).
    4. Send a grocery store gift card anonymously to someone who is struggling to feed their family.
    5. Ask around, at your church for example, if there is someone who needs help.
    6. Not only young families with children, but, the elderly often have trouble having enough money to buy food when other high dollar items take all their monthly income. 
Then, there's the little judgemental issues that can make giving to the needy more difficult.  How do you feel about giving to folks who:
  1.  Don't spend their dollars wisely which leads to repeatedly getting in financial dire straits?
Although I'm not suggesting you (or anyone) should follow my way, I'll put it out there as an option:
  1. If someone or a family is hungry when they go to bed because there is no food, then the why of it isn't my first immediate concern.
  2. Am I enabling?  I'm not set on this earth to withhold food from the hungry while they learn. 
  3. I either give through a responsible philanthropic organization or anonymously.  
  4. If I give anonymously, I usually give a gift certificate at a grocery or if the needs are broader than just food, I may give a Chamber of Commerce city-wide spending card.  
  5. I figure I'm responsible for my own motives and charity.  I'm not responsible for "making" others responsible.  It would "feel better" if they were, but, sometimes they aren't.
  6. If my gift is grossly abused, I don't need to give to that person next year - there is always someone needing help; that list will not go away.
This Thanksgiving and Christmas while we're cooking the bounty from our gardens and income, I hope you will consider feeding the hungry this winter.  Especially, those who fall through the cracks of food assistance programs or even those too proud to admit they go hungry. 

I've found I'm always Blessed when I help another in need and give thanks "But there for the Grace of God go I."  


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