It is difficult sometimes for those of us who are so blessed to even imagine that there are people right here in the United States, in our cities, our towns and maybe even in our own neighborhoods who go to bed hungry. It is hard to imagine that somewhere RIGHT NOW there is a mother who can't sleep because she doesn't know how she is going to feed her children tomorrow.
For us foodies who make our livings or pursue our hobbies with and around food this is nearly unthinkable. Sometimes I have to admit it...I'm ashamed of myself because I have made a dish for a post of a photo and it was never intended to be eaten so I have thrown it away. We've probably ALL done it.
Most of the Publix Supermarkets here in Florida sponsor food drives in conjunction with the Salvation Army or the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Granted they aren't going to take food that is already cooked BUT...nothing would prevent me from dropping it off at a local soup kitchen or rescue mission.
The fact is ONE in SIX Americans faces hunger on a daily basis and if you believe it only affects certain areas, populations or demographics you may be sadly and shockingly surprised. Statistically speaking, we probably ALL know someone who is struggling with or affected by hunger and we are not even aware of their plight.
In the 2009 report over 49 million Americans lived in households with food insecurity. Households with children reported almost double the rate of food insecurities as households without children. Those statistics appear to be increasing at an ever more alarming rate.
I know we all get on our soap boxes from time to time. We're always trying to save this and save that, free something, preserve something from extinction or whatever. Sometimes I think we just forget that hunger is real and it's not going away and we COULD do more. For myself, I plan on volunteering at Second Harvest. One day a week of my time at a local soup kitchen is not so much to ask really.
Please buy an extra can or two...especially during this holiday season. Many grocery stores provide drop boxes for non perishable goods and if you can't find one; go online and look up a food pantry, rescue mission or soup kitchen in your area. They won't turn down your help...no matter how minimal!
Aside from the benefit being for such a good cause, it was also a lot of fun! It gave me an opportunity to go out with a good reason to wear all black, have spider web stockings, a pointy hat and flamboyant makeup. Wait a minute...don't I do that anyway?? Some smarty pants commented on my facebook that I had not changed a bit since my high school senior picture....
"I'll get you my pretty...any your little dog too!"
Wicked cool huh?
"Oh...come in, come in! We like children. They taste good!"
"Get that water away from me....."
"Do you see this face? Do you even THINK I won't turn you into a frog just for the fun of it?"