This is the time of year that many people become stressed over all the additional obligations the holidays bring on, such as shopping, baking, parties etc. But many people in our community are under continual stress to meet their basic needs. Mothers go without food in order to feed their children. Seniors have to choose between medicine and meals. Dads have to decide whether to pay the heat bill or eat dinner. People in our community make these hard choices every day.
Second Harvest and our local food shelves and related hunger relief organizations work hard every day to help our struggling friends and neighbors meet their basic need for food. These organizations are also struggling to meet the increasing need at the same time that the donated food supply from the food industry and government commodities is dwindling and purchased food costs more to acquire. The numbers of households coming to local food shelves for assistance is up 13% over the same time last year. Since 2008, the numbers of households coming for help is up over 34%! It is a “perfect storm” of increased need in our community and decreased resources to meet those needs. Despite these challenges, we at Second Harvest are doing our best to bring in enough food to fill the missing meal gap for struggling local families.
As you sit down to a holiday meal or rush around shopping for your loved ones, remember there are many in our community who don’t have the means to enjoy the season. Thanks to the support of this caring community, Second Harvest is able to help those kids, seniors and struggling families. Together we are feeding hope.