By Susan Brockway
Pass the mashed potatoes and yes….I will have another piece of turkey.
Do these words sound familiar? For some of us they certainly ring true, but for millions this Thanksgiving, it was not the same old song. I was at home on Thanksgiving and watched countless stories about people having less, doing more with less, and more importantly……spending time with friends, neighbors, meal sites and family so everyone would have someone and somewhere to go.
I bring this up today because one of the stories I watched focused on a family who had been unemployed and lost everything last year, but this year made it back on their feet and invited four people; total strangers, into their home for dinner. Four turned into over thirty and without a Federal Bailout Program and a trip to the local grocery on a private jet, they were able to change the lives of some families who would have gone without or simply been alone.
The power of food and how it brings us together regardless of our socioeconomic status, cultural background or religious beliefs is powerful. We can live without a car, do with less clothing in our closets and even sleep more than one or two to a room to make things work. We cannot however, live without food.
More importantly, none of us should be deprived of the spiritual nutrition that comes with knowing our children will not go to bed hungry and our grandparents will not have to make a choice between food or medication.
There is no federal bailout for the over 200 food banks who supply thousands of agencies across the country who in turn serve millions who simply cannot make ends meets any longer. Unlike that conference held at a resort, food is not an option. It is a silly thing called a requirement. I trust that we all remember pulling the lever in November and casting a vote for some kind of change. Our responsibility did not end in November, it continues with our voices today. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to invest a few billion in a Nutritional Stimulus Package. I am fairly certain the results would be something all Americans could be proud of.
And I would like the family who invited 4 and ended up with 30 to be on the oversight committee. Agree or disagree, but please use your voice to make a difference.