Friendly Reminder: Tomorrow (5/12) Is the Postal Carriers’ Food Drive

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Logo

Get your canned goods bagged up and by the mail box tomorrow. It’s the 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive sponsored by the USPS. You provide the food. Your carrier and colleagues will do the rest.

On a daily basis, 42 million Americans (12 million of them children, for Mystery’s sake–how sick is that?) face food insecurity (the fancy way of saying that they don’t know where their next meal will come from) on any given day. Proposed cuts to SNAP will make it even worse if passed.

In addition to contacting your elected officials both at the state and federal level to prevent this abomination, please take a little time today to go through your pantry or stop at the store for nonperishables. Food pantries need:

  • Canned tuna, salmon, and chicken
  • Nut butters.
  • Shelf-stable plant based or dairy milk
  • Canned vegetables, fruit, and soup, preferably low sodium
  • Cereals such as oatmeal
  • Beans and pasta
  • Cooking oil
  • Pet food
  • Cleaning and hygiene products (not covered by SNAP)

For more information and statistics, please visit Feeding America‘s website. And remember what Mr. Roger’s mother told him about coping in scary times: look for the helpers. Tomorrow you’ll not only have the chance to see them in action, but you get to be one as well.

 

Advertisements

Food Insecurity 101

From Quoteaddicts.com.

 

 

(note: If I could go in the quote and put brackets around “childhood,” I would…because no one should go hungry.  Period. End of quotation.)

Let’s start with a definition of food insecurity here.  According to the USDA, 11% of US households along with as many as 20% of children struggle to meet the basic need of nutritious food. 8% of senior citizen households struggle to keep themselves fed as well.

It’s not just people on the ends of the life spectrum. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that 1.7 million US veterans made use of SNAP and local food pantries. Thanks to disability and a lack of truly decent jobs on their return, they end up in that hellish place where they have to decide between food, medicine, and bills. (The VA doesn’t do as much as you might think. One of my close friends is in a running battle with them on behalf of her husband, but that’s a long story for another entry.)

However, you can help. Yes, you, Gentle Reader, and I will be beside you. Beyond tossing stats and facts around–important for educating yourself and others–and beyond making contributions–vitally important for providing resources–the most important step you can take is reminding your congress rep about these issues in a phone call or email. If you have the misfortune to live in a district (like WI-01 or IL-14) with a rep who thinks the new tax bill that favors the extremely rich is just fine and dandy or is apathetic to the needs of the constituents, then work on getting them out of office.

No one should make a sacrifice for their country and have to choose between bills and food.

No one at the end of their life should have to, either.

And the parents of the people at the beginning of their lives shouldn’t have to, either.

No one, under no circumstances. Ever.

 

 

 

Musings, Some Related to Food

The House just voted to cut food stamps again. I worked in social services once upon a half-life ago, and while yes, there are abuses, the vast majority of people who use them really need them: children, senior citizens, people with disabilities. Note to self: donate to food bank this week. Who’s with me?

Thinking about the Great Lakes this morning. Reflecting on memories from childhood about the day Lake Erie caught on fire. A dockworker or sailor or someone threw a smoldering cigarette butt into Lake Erie and it burst into flames. I’m old enough to remember this, wise enough to be grateful for Erie’s cleanup, and young enough to help keep pressure going to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. 

Not to take away from the shooting at the DC shipyard on Monday, but last night in Chicago thirteen people were injured in a drive-by shooting, including a three-year-old boy. Have we really grown that numb from that many incidents? 

I had scrambled eggs this morning. Melt butter over low heat while you mix up one or two eggs per person. That’s all. Pour into pan. When the eggs start to solidify around the edges, gently fold and stir until done. 

Lunch will be hummus, gluten free crackers, and fruit. Don’t know about dinner. I’ll deal with it then.