Why does it always seem that after school starts, the year's tempo picks up faster than a runaway freight train? All of a sudden the relaxing pace of the summer quickens into the frenzy of fall. Mums start showing up in the grocery store and you're wondering who's going to be the first storefront to put out the Christmas decor.
Let's step outside that frenzy for just a moment. There is an invisible story going on just under the surface of all the bustle. A story that is in the making, and a story that you can change.
That story is your neighbor, your church member, your grandchild's classmate. It was me just a few years ago. That story is food insecurity.
Did you know that Friday, September 9th, is National Food Bank Day? In honor of that day, I'd like to share the invisible story and show how you can make an incredible difference at no inconvenience to you. All it takes is three steps and a little intention. Are you up for it?
Food insecurity happens when a family doesn't have access to enough food for everyone to have an active, healthy life. What makes food insecurity different than poverty is that sometimes when bills are low, access to food is better than when unexpected expenses arise.
What startled me was the numbers. 1 in 8 people (and 1 in 6 children) are impacted by food insecurity. Most families look just like you and me. That's why this is an invisible story... the struggle happens in the empty pantry or the hungry child at school. But after you do these three steps, they won't be invisible to you anymore.
Here are 3 easy steps you can take to make a big difference.
Understand the problem in your county. Click on this map to see how many people are impacted in your community and what an average meal costs.
Find out who you can work with. There are some diligent organizations making a difference locally. Do you know who they are? If you don't, click on this page to find your local food bank.
Decide what you are going to do & write it in your calendar. From volunteering to donating food or even helping financially, there are many ways that don't add to your stressful schedule. It can be as simple as cleaning out your pantry & donating a can of beans to spending an afternoon with your small group stuffing boxes.
Just understanding the problem in your community and knowing who you can think about as the holidays approach are a huge step forward. You can make someone visible again simply by knowing who they are and what you can do.
After you decide what fits your schedule, share your ideas with me! Were you surprised about the impact in your community? Was there someone you could join forces with? Or did you decide to blaze your own trail? Comment below or connect with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org I'm looking forward to hearing your experience!