When we spotlight an issue together amazing things can happen. We can raise awareness, inspire productivity, and help a lot of families. If you participated in Hunger Action month this September you should know that you ABSOLUTELY made a difference.
But just because it is the end of an “awareness month” does not mean that the problem goes away.
We are about to move into one of the hardest times of the year for families that are food insecure. Cold months. Holiday filled months. An empty table is a nightmare any day, but an empty Thanksgiving table is soul crushing.
I will never forget the first Thanksgiving my family had when we were homeless, penniless, and down. We had JUST moved from hot and humid Florida to cold and damp Maryland. We were terrified about our future, stressed beyond words, and just thinking about the idea of Thanksgiving made us crumble.
Then there was a call. A friend that I had met online years before during my fertility struggles reached out to us. It was such a simple call.
“Do you have any plans for Thanksgiving?”
“You are all welcome to join my family.”
She then insisted that we not bring a thing. She said it in a way that wasn’t pointed. It was thoughtful, kind, knowing.
Last year I looked back on that Thanksgiving from 2009.
“We took a day off from our worries. We sat around the table with wonderful food and uplifting conversation and for the night we felt normal.”
Almost exactly a year later my family celebrated Thanksgiving with LJ’s family. It was truly a celebration as the following week my family moved to Philadelphia so that Mom could start her new job.
Within that year, bookended between Thanksgivings, my family was saved so many times by the kindness of friends. If W and I went somewhere on a play date we were sent home with hand me downs and items for the pantry. We were welcomed to many tables. The kindnesses went beyond a month.
So yes, THANK YOU, a huge, huge, THANK YOU for working with me and other Feeding America bloggers to help bring attention to hunger issues in September. But I urge you to continue to talk about it and help when and where you can once the month is over.
It’s easy to get involved. So many grocery stores will have can food drives this Fall. A food bank in your neighborhood will have ways that you can help. Don’t know where the closest food bank is? Feeding America has a way you can simply enter your zip code and find out.
If you did something for Hunger Action month will you let me know in the comments?