Hunger Awareness

A Day with the hungry

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Compared to Day 2, I felt better. I am more alert, have more energy, and more clarity of mind. I had the energy to walk for 3 hours to share FHL Week’s Beyond This Hunger Campaign along Massachusetts Avenue. I spoke with several people about hunger and poverty in the city. Some people were surprised to know that Indianapolis is one of the worst cities for food deserts. Approx. 80,000 children in metro Indy go to bed hungry. Indiana is one of the hungriest states in the country. How could that be, in the greatest country of the world? One of the topics of the Beyond This Hunger program is empathy. As I spoke with the people, some were very empathetic, and some were judgmental. When I got tired of walking, I sat on a bench next to a lady whom I thought dropped something under the iron bench. So I offered her help and she said, “Could you pick up that dime under the bench? You’ll be surprised how many coins get dropped under the bench, and that’s what I do every day.” Another person nearby who just woke up from laying on the bench waved at me and he said he asks for money every day. I told him “I’m not able to give you money.” He said, “No, I’m just telling you what I do every day.” As I prepared to walk again, I saw him pull his toothbrush and toothpaste out and proceed to one of the shops, where I assumed he would ask for water. I can only imagine how hard it is to sit on a street corner smelling bacon, ham and eggs while; all this while watching people walking and snacking, and all you have in your pocket is a dime. It was hard for me, because I know I can just go into one of the restaurants on Mass Ave and purchase a good meal, but I chose to be hungry. Later, I met the rest of our group at the circle in downtown Indianapolis. We interviewed people live on Facebook , so you can check my Facebook https://www.facebook.com/merling1 for some interesting conversations. One thing that resonated with me, was the feeling of loneliness and separation from society that the people I spoke with expressed. A man I met who lives on the street goes to a technical school and is not losing hope, even though he has to scour food from garbage cans. This has been a different day, experiencing being with the people who are hungry, but do not choose it. When it was mealtime, I heard my wife say, “slow down,” because I was devouring the food out of hunger. After I ate my meal for the day, I was so thankful, and I felt blessed. I regained my strength within an hour, and actually ended my day vacuuming the house.

Merlin GonzalesA Day with the hungry
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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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