Apr 19 , 2021
I have been out of town for most of the first part of 2021, much of the time in Maine helping my family, and some of the time at the bakery in West Valley City, UT, and only about 4 weeks total in Laramie, WY, where our administrative offices are located, along with my home. Having flown in from Salt Lake City on Friday, I sat in my reading chair over the weekend evenings catching up on a pile of mail. Many of the envelopes contained charity appeals.
Over the Christmas season this past year I gave a lot of money to several organizations, then made a pledge to myself to hone in on a couple causes that are especially close to my heart. Hunger is one. As I sifted through the multitude of appeals in the mail pile, I thought, "Why do we have to give so much to so many charities? Is there a way some of these charities with common causes could band together to make it easier for the giver to choose where to give and for the organizations to pool their resources for better effect?" And these thoughts led to, "Why is there so much need out there in the world? In our own backyards? Why do so many people have inadequate access to a necessity- food?"
We all are human, and to some degree at various times in our daily lives complain about how something is not quite 100% right for us. Saturday afternoon for me it was getting in my ancient (1985) Toyota pick up to drive across town, and being prevented from doing so by a blown out rear tire. What a pain! I had to borrow my roomie's car (because I'd left mine at the bakery when I flew back Friday to avoid stormy weather.) And I had to call the tire guys to see if they could get one in stock for me, and then I would have to call AAA to get a tow, since I don't have a spare for that old truck.
Really, this little drama was a drop in the bucket of my life when compared with the difficulties of someone who can't afford a decent vehicle, even one, to get back and forth to a job that doesn't pay enough for that person to be able to afford a vehicle- or to put good food on the table. Yes, it's all relative.
And it's springtime! This weekend I also whipped up some colorful and healthy salads for my clients in my side cooking gig, using local organic greens- which many people in my community could not afford. I showed off the Big Green Egg I got for my birthday to a couple friends who stopped to visit when they picked up their meals yesterday, and talked about soon making pizzas and breads and smoking foods in that thing while hanging around the backyard having drinks and conversation with those friends and more. How fortunate I am!
This week I look forward to the honor of chatting with Lina and Candace of Feeding Laramie Valley, right here in my town, on our weekly Lunch'N Watch Facebook Live stream. They will talk about the organization's various initiatives to feed people in our community, fresh local foods. And we will discuss an important concept in that effort: Dignity.
Think about it: The parent who can't afford to feed the kids on a meager paycheck and hides the SNAP card at the grocery store so people don't know. Or the people who stand in long lines for commodities to supplement their meager pantries, only to be snapped at condescendingly by those coordinating the line (both of which I have observed personally.)
When you walk down the street and see a homeless person with a sign or a cup, do you cross the street? Look down or away? Say mean words?
Food is a human need. Our circumstances vary so greatly, but why should we not all have access to good, healthy food that not only sustains, but can improve our physical, mental and emotional health?
I hope you will drop in for Lunch'N Watch this week: Wednesday, April 21, 12:15 MST on Facebook Live. And if you can't make it live, please check out the video afterward in our Vimeo library.
With continued commitment to you and your diet,
Lisa Cox is CEO/ SVP Sales & Marketing at Gem City Fine Foods, LLC. Hunger and homelessness are causes dear to her heart.