Thanksgiving...Not a Feast for Everyone

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Thanksgiving conjures up memories of a table full of food, plates filled to the brim with turkey and all the trimmings. Let's not forget the pies and freshly whipped cream to follow.

But beyond the laughter at the table, there is silence in many homes in our community on Thanksgiving day. For those affected by poverty and hunger, Thanksgiving is a day filled with emptiness and loss. It's hardly a day worthy of giving thanks for those who suffer from hunger.

I take food for granted. When I have a hunger pang, I satisfy it. I am among the lucky ones, I know that. I send my children to school each day with full bellies and lunchboxes filled with nutritious meals and snacks. But the child sitting next to mine in the cafeteria may not be so fortunate. Yes, there are children at my daughters' school who suffer from poverty and hunger.

It's heartbreaking to know that a classmate of my daughters' may have arrived to school hungry. I can't fathom it. Yet thousands of our neighbors go hungry every day. It's a sobering fact.

Thankfully, there is help for the hungry. Many communities have food banks, pantries, churches and other civic organizations which collect donations in the form of both food and money to alleviate hunger. There are varying distribution channels, but the end result is the same: providing food to those who are in desperate need.

In January, the ability to make a contribution will get even easier and will include an added incentive. Deborah Smith, the founder of Jersey Bites, will roll out 3SquareDeals. In cooperation with restaurants, food professionals, nutritionists, and cooking event organizers, Smith's 3SquareDeals will offer discounts to customers. For example, through 3SquareDeals, one will have the ability to purchase a $20 gift certificate to a particular restaurant at a discounted price, say $10. A portion of each sale will, in turn, be given to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

"Since the birth of Jersey Bites, I have always felt it was our duty to not only talk about the sexy side of food and dining out, but to also talk about the serious side of food; its safety, its purity, and its scarcity. I believe we as "foodies" or "food enthusiasts" or whatever you like to call yourself, should have a heightened awareness regarding those who cannot share our passion, or even the comfort of staples in the fridge.", Deborah Smith elaborates. Smith's efforts are to be commended.

Please consider, this holiday season, making a donation to or volunteering at a food bank or pantry. The hand you lend will be one that feeds a hungry mouth.

Also, take a moment to reflect on how prosperous you are to have food on your table, in your refrigerator, and in your pantry. Not everyone is so blessed.

1 comment

James and Jax blog said...

I think often about how easy it is for me to satisfy a craving or grab a snack when I'm hungry & I try not to take that for granted. But it is hard. I will certainly make it a point this Thanksgiving to think of those who aren't feasting & figure out something I can do! My family does give to charity many times throughout the year, but it never feels like enough.