Who gets to eat? This is a question many of us may never consider; those of us lucky enough only have to consider “What am I going to eat for dinner?” instead of, “Am I going to eat dinner?”
In order to adequately address hunger issues in a regional sense, we as a community really need to start paying attention to the fact that a little over 13 percent, or about one in seven residents in Chelan and Douglas counties, are food insecure.
Our culture tells us to be generous and thoughtful around the holidays. This is wonderful and inspirational; but what about the months that follow this influx of thoughtful giving? Many of us go back to our everyday lives and those on the margins of our society are again in our periphery.
Often those unable to adequately provide food to their families are meant to feel it is their fault. The population of “working poor” who struggle to make ends meet are often invisible, not counted among the unemployed but also not making a wage high enough to take care of basic needs. Nationally, 1 in 3 working U.S. families struggle to meet basic needs, including food.
I simply want to ask you to consider being kind and generous to your fellow community members throughout the whole year. How can we as a community be our best if a large percentage of us do not have our basic needs met? Are we doing everything possible to be a compassionate community and helping each other the best we can?
If you have the ability to donate food, not just the leftovers from your pantry, but good, nutritious whole foods, please consider making a weekly/monthly contribution to one of our many food pantries here in Wenatchee. Check out the Community Action Council’s food bank list or your local church for the food pantry nearest you. Be sure to call and find out the best time to drop off donations.
Thank you for reaching out — however you are able.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
— Charles Dickens
Alison Detjens manages the garden and greenhouses at Wenatchee Valley College. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org