I've been thinking about my recent experiences, family, our current problems, giving thanks, Christian Food Pantries, Obama and Uncle $ugar.
The third Thursday in November, we in the US observe a truly unique American celebration. It is a time of fellowship, remembrance, and gratitude. We look back upon where we have been, we consider where we find ourselves, and we contemplate where we are headed: normally we are thankful.
The turnaround of the looming uncertainties of what 2010 holds in store will be a part of every gathering of friends, families, and neighbors where we share a bountiful meal, fellowship, and conversation.
You see this year I am so looking forward to joining my family members for the holidays. For me this is the (I love food and have noticed the difference, trust me!) Thanksgiving that shouldn't be. The infection I received early last summer, my second open heart surgery, and the nine weeks of IVs of antibiotic cocktails could easily have been the end of me. Monday, I saw the physician who coordinated my recovery treatment. I jokingly refer to him as my "poison" doctor. He clearly worked his magic because six months "after" I am still alive and kicking -- at least I am alive and re-learning to do so many of the things that I just took for granted. Stairs are the hardest. I lost one-third of my weight and have since regained 22 pounds of the 81 I had lost during the ordeal. I went from a 44 inch waist to a 36 inch one and my neck size is 14 and a half, not 7. Food is actually tasting like it should taste.
I have so much to be thankful for in 2009. I will look forward to seeing the family and meeting the newest member who was born during my hiatus. I won't join the guys for the annual game of touch football, but I will be there watching and cheering from the sidelines. I am just so happy to be there!
Our economic situation continues to deteriorate despite the rah-rah media releases from the administration. There can be NO recovery until we as a nation stop losing jobs. And I don't foresee that happening for at least another 18 months. In 2009, over 15 million households are now "food insecure" meaning they are "experiencing difficulty in providing the necessary level of sustenance for their household and are literally days, or less, from running out of things to eat. This includes roughly 3 million senior citizens and one out of two children.
The worst economic times in 70+ years are clearly taking their toll. Any attempt to put faces on the growing need is a lame attempt to spin that well over 37 million people, including over 13 million children, are going to bed hungry at night. Such is unconscionable in this land of abundance. Yet" it is the reality even during this week of the normal Thanksgiving feasting! America's food pantries are the primary safety net. They are America's first responders to the growing need, but are being stretched to the maximum.
The local area Christian Food pantry was established 27 years ago in 1982. It long out-grew its original location in an office basement and now provides food assistance to upwards of 320 families each month. This is a 33% rise in the households served over just one year. The one-third increase in local need is consistent with the statistics provided from virtually every food pantry across this entire land. (The numbers will keep growing.)
Please make the effort to make any contribution in non-perishable food items (or cash) during this holiday season as they are sorely needed at every food pantry across our entire land. They can use food, money, and volunteers! The same is true for food pantries everywhere.
We tend to look to the Federal, State, and Local Governments as the panacea for all of our problems, but they will not be the real solution here. Their resources are being stretched to the maximum on almost every front.