Column: Help the hungry with community
NATHAN DAY WILSON
Let me tell you a story about a man. I’ll call him Thomas, only since that is his name.
Thomas was a child of the Great Depression. He recalls what his father did after the Depression to help keep his family nourished, including spending many long hours in lines for construction jobs and planting a garden with tomatoes, corn and potatoes.
Thomas graduated from high school and received a scholarship to an Indiana college. He earned a degree in marketing. Only a few years into his first job, his father unexpectedly died and his mother grew ill. Thomas returned home to help care for her.
With no marketing jobs available, Thomas began working in construction. It was difficult to balance construction with caring for his mother, so Thomas sought a different job. He worked for a company cleaning offices and homes.
Even after many years of in this line of work, it was necessary for Thomas to utilize our area food pantries, including the Matthew 25:35 Community Food Pantry and The Salvation Army. Thomas depends on our food pantries and other support to have enough food to survive.
Unfortunately, his story is not rare; some 2.7 million seniors in the United States depend on food panties for food security.At the other end of the age spectrum are the 13 million children under the age of 18, 3 million of them young children, who depend on food pantries to survive.
For that reason, dozens of Shelby County residents will lace up shoes and slip on sweatshirts this Sunday to participate in the Shelby County CROP (“Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty”) Hunger Walk. Registration for the walk begins at 1:30 p.m. at Intelliplex Park.
Those participating will join approximately 2 million people will take part in a CROP Hunger Walk this fall. Collectively the efforts are expected to raise an estimated $16 million to end hunger and poverty.
A colleague who ministers in Michigan has been involved in CROP Hunger Walks for years. In an e-mail, she wrote, “I love our CROP Walk. It brings people together. It gives us a way to meet practical needs. It helps us focus on our community.”
“Sometimes I pray for our community silently while I’m walking,” she wrote. “I pray for the day when we won’t need the CROP Walk anymore because everyone will have enough to eat.”
That’s part of my prayer, too: A day when everyone will have enough to eat. Until then, participating in things such as CROP Hunger Walks is worthwhile.