Beyond This Hunger

Food desert

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Day 2: it was a challenging day. I started the day with low energy and feeling cold almost the entire day. I did not want to move and it’s hard to focus on my work. I was feeling hungry the entire day and all I can think of is how many more hours till my next meal.
A thought came to mind. I know I have food at 5pm, plenty of cooked food and
More in my refrigerator and pantry. What if I don’t have food waiting for me?
Recently, I read posting from someone I know who lives more than 10 miles away from a supermarket, no means of transportation. As I monitor the social media conversations during that time, the person said that all she needs is a jug of orange juice to balance her blood sugar. Later on, a community church came and brought her to town. A day later, my wife and I brought her groceries from one of FHL Missional Food pantries.
I live 2 miles away from 2 supermarkets. My wife and I visit one of the stores a few times a week.
Food desert, what is it? Find out more about it here.

Merlin GonzalesFood desert
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Only the Good Stuff

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What would it be like to only eat processed food? What if I were only able to afford the cheapest boxed carbohydrates to feed my family? What if I were unable to afford fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats? How would my mental abilities be affected not only by the lack of food but by the kind of food available? I have been pondering these questions as an Indianapolis non-profit leader telling everyone to support Faith Hope & Love, an organization who helps to address these questions for the good of others. https://www.fhlcommunity.org/beyond-this-hunger/

Mark EckelOnly the Good Stuff
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The Second Day

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The second day of my 0-0-1 campaign. (0-breakfast, 0-lunch, but 1-supper) has been tougher than the first! Sunday morning, I was prepared to miss my usual breakfast cereal, but was tempted by the smell of bacon that Sandy was frying for our 3 grandsons who are spending the week with us! Fortunately, I was able to avoid the temptation, and the day went pretty well. I was hungry at dinner-time, and probably ate twice as much as I usually do.

I thought about that this morning, when I still felt full. That is probably normal for folks who are missing meals. They would tend to eat as much as they can, when food is available. That can’t be good for one’s health!

Today, I got off to a good start with a meeting at Panera, where I drank my usual coffee, but had nothing to eat. Then, it was off to Washington Township Park in Avon, so the boys could enjoy some time with their 4 cousins. I drank a lot of water, and had two meetings in the afternoon, and felt hungry much of the time. I was tempted to suck on my favorite cinnamon candies, but didn’t. I realized that I was resisting the temptation to eat snacks that were available, as opposed to wishing that I had something to eat. Those are two totally different thoughts! So, this experiment of skipping meals doesn’t really replicate the activities of those who are missing meals regularly. Hopefully, it will cause you who read this, to realize how good you have it, and to pray for those who don’t!

This evening, a friend pointed out that I wasn’t as patient dealing with a cohort as I usually am. He asked me if that was because of the disruption of my eating habits. I don’t know! This is not the best week for this experiment, because of the disruption of my schedule, with the grandsons in town. For one thing, I didn’t get my afternoon nap! But, it does illustrate the issue that food-insecure people are dealing with, constantly. Life goes on! Many are working more than one job, trying to feed 3 generations of family members, not getting enough rest, and having to deal with the problems of others. That’s what this campaign is all about! Awareness of those in need!

Eldon KibbeyThe Second Day
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Lonely and Hungry

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Day one of the Beyond this Hunger has been eye-opening. Yes, I was hungry. However, what impacted me more was the feeling of loneliness and isolation.

I cooked dinner for my children but could not sit down and eat with them. I was on the outside looking in while they ate. I was different. I wasn’t a part of the group.

I am a teacher. As I scooped mac ‘n cheese and fruit onto my children’s plates last night, I drooled a little (lol) and then silently wondered how many times a student has come to school feeling hungry. I wondered if they too felt left out because they simply couldn’t afford to buy an ice cream or share their well packed snack with a friend. Breaking bread at a family meal or with friends at school doesn’t just feed our physical bodies. It nourishes our souls to dine with those we care about and love. When you’re too poor to eat with others, you feel left out and sad.

I personally have experienced the isolation of poverty. It makes you feel different than everyone else. I couldn’t just decide to go to the grocery store to feed my family like my neighbors could across the street. I had to plan family meals VERY carefully and track every penny I spent to make it to the next Friday (payday). I used to stretch expensive items- like a pack of chicken- to last for three or four meals instead of just one. Fresh fruit… fresh ANYTHING… was a luxury.

When I did go to buy food at the store, I used to die a little inside when the person in line ahead of me spent $8-$9 on something like name brand laundry detergent. I would have spent $1 on detergent at the Dollar Store and then fed my children for a few DAYS on the $8 left. I used to think, “What’s it like to go through the checkout and not even think about the money being spent?” Or, “What’s it like to have meat at every meal?” Again, poverty is isolating. It just makes you feel different… because you ARE different.

There were a few times when my family was entirely dependent upon others to eat. I had to plan my week and activities very carefully so I could be sure to make it to the local food pantry when it was open. Again, I couldn’t just decide to get groceries. I was told when to go because of the pantry’s limited hours. When I got to the pantry, I usually had zero say in what is given to me. DO NOT GET ME WRONG. I am grateful for every bit of help that I have ever been given in tough times. However, there is something truly humbling about not being able to choose. Poverty strips you of choice and dignity.

So, as I watched my children eat last night, all those feelings I had from tougher times came flooding back. Isolation. Humiliation. Loneliness.

The Beyond This Hunger campaign isn’t just about going hungry. It is about trying to empathize with those who suffer. I remember your pain: your physical hunger pains and your emotional pain.

Julie hamnerLonely and Hungry
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