This week, families across the country will come together and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. For many of us, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and other festive sides. When you don’t have the food you need to thrive, however, celebrating the holidays can be tough. Consider that nearly 34 million people faced hunger in 2021, averaging 1 in 7 adults. Think of the number of adults in your workplace or the adults that live on your street. One in 7 of these adults may be experiencing food insecurity as families with children, military families, employed persons with low wages, and adults who have pursued or attained education beyond high school are all vulnerable.
In a society that associates income with a person’s worthiness, and where discussing personal finances is often taboo, it’s hard to have the confidence to speak freely or know who else might be experiencing a similar situation. Many of us take pride in self-sufficiency, and falling on hard financial times can be a blow to our self-esteem: we feel exposed, vulnerable, or singled out. This problem of food insecurity is one that is particularly prevalent in our community and has heightened just in the last few years.
There are lots of opportunities to help our neighbors during the holidays, you can find an agency advertising a food drive and help them build up their store of goods, or find a soup kitchen, volunteer and take time while there to have quality conversation with your neighbors, or give a financial donation to support work to alleviate food insecurity. If you want to be a part of something big knowing that you are making a real difference, Second Harvest Food Bank has corporate donors whose gifts allow us to match your donation during December. You can give knowing that because of you we can feed more people.
This Thanksgiving, I know I’m going to be thankful for the food I have now, but also that there are organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank and all of their partner agencies to support me, my family, my friends, or anyone else who might go through tough economic times in the future. In this time of thanks, I’m recommitting myself to supporting organizations that look out for the wellbeing of all of our neighbors now and in the future.