Friday, October 3, 2008


Harvest is a historically a time of plenty. Our farming ancestors (or current family) felt rich in abundance in the fall as they filled their grain bins with corn and wheat, stocked the cellar with potatoes, onions and squash and stacked jars of home canned produce in the pantry. They were able to get by until spring when planting started and fresh food was growing again.

Harvest and fall make us think of apple pie and stew and a warm house to come into after raking leaves or a football game. But many of our neighbors have neither enough food in the cupboard or enough funds to keep the house warm. Current economic conditions have pushed people who were just getting by to now needing help to meet their basic needs.

I don't need to tell you how much the cost of groceries and gas have gone up this year. We are all feeling the effects of skyrocketing prices on our basic needs. But what if your budget left nothing extra to give? What if you were struggling to pay off medical bills or your mortgage payment that just doubled? What if you were still trying to pay off last year's heating bill? You wouldn't be getting another delivery until it's paid off. Now what do you do?

There is hope. As always, your local non-profit organizations are helping people meet those needs. Food shelves, soup kitchens, Community Action organizations and many others are there to help in times of crisis. Unfortunately, we expect the need to be much greater this year, as more people are unable to stretch their resources to meet their needs.

This fall, this harvest season, a windfall has come to help meet the extraordinary demand for help that will be needed this winter. The Blandin Foundation has stepped up in order to provide additional funding for Second Harvest and for heating assistance through KOOTASCA Community Action and The Sharing Fund Additional funding was also granted to other non-profit agencies that provide transitional housing. (For more information check out

What this means for Second Harvest and those we serve, is that we will be able to provide more food to each food shelf and soup kitchen served by the Food Bank, thanks to this supplemental funding by The Blandin Foundation. Fall and winter are always the busiest time for food shelves. This year we know it will be harder than ever to meet the increasing need. Thanks to this grant, food shelves and soup kitchens will have additional food available.

Harvest. Hope. Thanks to a generous community, we are feeding hope.

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