One of the things that I probably most take for granted in life is my access to food. Anyone who knows me decently well, knows that I tend to graze. Breakfast, 10-10:30am snack, lunch, 2:30-ish snack, dinner, and maybe even a pre-bedtime small bowl of cereal. Some days it becomes more of a habit that anything. It’s what I’m used to doing, so I continue the routine.
Most of us have constant access to food. We’re surrounded by it and always have the option of eating or drinking something. We often don’t even wait until we’re hungry anymore. If there’s a plate of cupcakes sitting out in the office, well, of course we have to have one.
I have never, ever gone to bed truly hungry or had to wonder where my next meal is coming from. However, that is a reality for more than 1 billion people around the world.
My husband & I were out running errands recently on a Saturday. As we were leaving the Lowe’s parking lot, there was a man holding a sign asking for a combo meal. I had never seen a sign that specific before & it definitely caught our attention. I’ll be honest. I’ve grown quite jaded & skeptical of those who beg on street corners with signs. Are they truly in need or are they just trying to scam people into giving them money, like the stories we occasionally see on the news? The ones who then go walk around the corner to their nice car and drive away…
Honestly, I probably would not have done this if I was by myself, but my husband suggested that we go get him a combo meal. It was a Saturday. We had extra time. Why not. As we pulled in across the street at the Burger King, there was a couple sitting in the grass with a sign of their own, saying they were hungry and asking for food. How could we help one and not the others? What were the chances of there being 3 people in the same 1 block radius who were all asking for a meal? It only cost us about $10. Money that we’d never notice was even missing. All 3 were genuinely so grateful when we went back to hand them out.
It wouldn’t make a big difference in their lives – it was only one meal – but it definitely served as a bit of a wake-up call for me. We all I tend to turn a blind eye toward need. It could be for a variety of reasons – we’re I’m skeptical, too lazy, apathetic, scared… too busy and wrapped up in our my own life to even notice, etc.
I want to live more intentionally. I want to be more tuned in to those around me and to the opportunities that God places in my path. But that could be a blog post all to itself…
Anyway, if you are looking for some ways to help the hungry, I can offer 4 suggestions:
- Find your local food pantry & donate a load of groceries.
- Support your local homeless shelter.
- A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post to help bring more attention to the severe famine in East Africa. You can read that here along with information on how you can donate to relief efforts.
- You can also sign up to sponsor a child through World Vision. It helps ensure that the child you select has nutritious food to eat (along with clean water, medical care, education, etc). You can read more about that here in last week’s post.