Last January, I marched. The Woman’s March in Chicago was an uplifting, exhilarating experience that you can read about here. This year, with my arm in a sling, the inability to zip any jacket, and intimidation of being jostled in big crowds, I had to forgo it. I still stand in solidarity with those walking, and I was both envious and invigorated seeing photos of my friends and family who participated in different cities around the country.
Instead, I spent last Saturday morning volunteering registering participants at a local food pantry. Those who come to this local mobile food pantry are so diverse–many ethnicities, families, individuals, neighbors, regulars, first timers, shy, welcoming, speaking many languages.
They came for the groceries to feed their families, a hot meal, book giveaways, free health clinic screenings and flu shots by Franklin-Rosalind medical students, companionship. I saw some people who volunteered and then collected their food donations the end of their shift.
There is hunger in every community. 1 in 8 people in the US struggle with hunger—a pretty staggering statistic—according to Feeding America.
One of the things that hit me hard was how many elderly people came out on a snowy morning to accept a donation. Some of Eastern European descent reminded me so much of my grandparents. If they were alive, would they have food in their house? And if there were this many here, how many hungry senior citizens are sitting at home, housebound or ill? I wanted to ask them their stories.
So please give food, time, money to your local food banks. There is need all year round—not just at holiday time. Feeding America lists a network of food banks across the country.
And here are few local organizations that can use your help:
After my morning of giving back, it warmed up enough that I could go for a walk in my neighborhood. And I wore my pink knitted hat, sending my energy to my fellow humans marching around the globe.
The journey continues. Cindy