July 19th 2016 No comments yet
Have you seen the Snickers commercials with the slogan, “You’re not you when you’re hungry”? I think that was made because of me. If I don’t snack every three hours or so, I lose focus and become an emotional tsunami. I cannot stand feeling hungry, and usually, I don’t have to for long. As a middle class American in our century, I have easy access to food. I even have the luxury of wondering which food I’ll have for my next meal—rather than whether or not I will eat at all. So if there’s one thing I struggle to fathom, it’s the idea of people around me going hungry.
I don’t mean “hunger” as in experiencing cravings between meals; I mean truly striving to put food on the table. Hunger doesn’t make sense when I look at the food I have in abundance—all of the farm-fresh markets where I shop, all of the fancy restaurants within three blocks of my home, all of the opportunities to wreck my diet with culinary masterpieces (and, you know, junk food)…I imagine you can identify, but not everyone shares in this experience.
Forty-nine million Americans lived in food-insecure households in 2012, according to the North Texas Food Bank, and the numbers are holding steady. The USDA defines food insecurity as the state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” Millions across America may seem hard to grasp, but the numbers are just as staggering when you look closer to home. More than 700,000 people in Collin, Dallas, and Denton counties face the threat of hunger. Perhaps the worst thing is that one in four children right here in North Texas live in food-insecure households.
Can you imagine being one of those little ones, unable to enjoy being a child because of your nagging hunger pains? Statistically, children who experience hunger are less likely to succeed in school and have a harder time getting along with their peers. And can you imagine being their parents, facing constant anxiety, wondering every day how you will feed your family? As people of faith, you and I are called to serve others in need like this, and when we do, we take care of more than their physical needs; we extend God’s love to them, and we serve the Savior who reminds us that whatever we do for the least among us, we do for Him (Matthew 25:34–40).
Through our partnerships with Frisco Family Services, Frisco Fastpacs, and churches and food banks in Little Elm, we at Stonebriar get to help meet the needs of food-insecure families in our area. Summer is one of the hardest seasons for food-insecure families, when children are not receiving free or reduced lunches from their schools. Over the past five weeks, our Community Care team has been hard at work for our Summer Lunch program, which helped provide more than 5,000 lunches for kids in need.
Preparing sandwiches for our Summer Lunch packs was one of the most helpful things I may do this entire season. In less than an hour, twenty volunteers and I prepared hundreds of sandwiches to feed hungry little ones. When we prayed together for the sandwiches to bless the families in need, the impact of our work really began to sink in for me. By simply stuffing sandwiches into plastic baggies, I had directly helped hundreds of kids who would not have eaten lunch that week without us. Every bag I touched is going to help feed a child in my town who suffers from hunger.
Next time I give thanks before a meal, it’s sure to be sincerer than ever before. I hope to give more of my time and resources to those one in four hungry kids in the future. Summer Lunch may be over for the year, but we have opportunities to help these under-resourced families in every season. Join me and visit Community Care online to learn about our upcoming projects, including packing items for our annual School Supply Drive. (I promise not to show up hungry.)
Written by Patricia Krecklow, Stonebriar Staff Editor & Writer
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