Blog Action Day is nearly over but it isn't too late for me to join the thousands of bloggers across the world who are blogging about this year's theme of poverty. As a food blogger, poverty and its impact on hunger, food access, and health, are always on my mind. Our current economic crisis has no doubt brought the topic closer to home for many of us.
The question of how to get enough food on the tables of people who are struggling to make ends meet is a constant concern for me and the people I serve at Grace Episcopal Church. Our food pantry is the oldest church-run pantry in the city of Syracuse and every month we get a report that tell us what we already know--more individuals and families are needing help than ever before and we are hard-pressed to meet the needs. We are thankful for the good work and resources of the Food Bank of Central New York and the Syracuse Real Food Co-op who make food accessible to our Pantry so we can give it away to those who need it most. We are also grateful for the farmers--such as Stones Throw Farm, Black Brook Farm, and Common Thread Community Farm who have generously donated surplus produce so that our Food Pantry guests can partake of delicious, organic vegetables.
I guess if I was going to make one point today it would be this: poverty and hunger is not a "them" problem, and the solution to ending poverty and hunger won't come about without collaborative partnerships. It will take all of us--folks picking up extra cans of beans and growing an extra row of food in their gardens and public policy advocates who can track on the Farm Bill and its relevance for benefiting women, infants, and children who live below the poverty line; non-profits providing educational resources to help those in need (re)learn the skills of food preparation and economical shopping and an economy and policies that support fare and adequate wages.
Though not a solution to the problem one of the other things we can do is to remember to be grateful for the food we are able to eat. I'm thankful for the days when I can enjoy a nice meal--either prepared out in a restaurant or at home--because the faces of those who are hungry are ever before me and I remember the "corned-beef hash days of my childhood when my family struggled to make ends meet. I dream of the day when everyone can set their table and be assured that everyone will have enough and that there will be more tomorrow.