Kids going to sleep at night with empty stomachs because there’s no food in the house — that really bothers me. It’s something that we take for granted — the poor and hungry will always be with us, and it’s not a problem we can “solve” — but that’s no consolation to a mother who has to tell her kids that they can’t have a snack, that there’s literally no food.
I’ve been very fortunate — I’ve never had a day in my life where I had to worry about where my next meal is coming from. My mother, who grew up in a terribly poor family in Florida during the Depression, on the other hand, was not so lucky. You don’t really realize how important food is until you’ve had to go without, not just once, but routinely. It sounds ridiculous and trite to say that, but it’s true — being chronically hungry sucks.
Here in Vermont, we’re very lucky to have an insanely dedicated organization, the Vermont Foodbank, that works their butts off to fill the food gap. They have staff and warehouses and collection and distribution operations all over the state, but even so, one in four Vermonters still struggles with hunger and access to adequate nutrition.
As it happens, the Vermont Foodbank is partnering with Magic Hat Brewing to put on the Burlington, Vermont area’s annual Mardi Gras weekend and parade. The parade is just a week away, on Saturday, March 11. The Foodbank makes use of a lot of volunteers to staff the event and keep things safe (it puts such a pall on the day when someone runs out to grab beads off the street and gets crushed by a giant green lizard float), and the volunteers are encouraged to fundraise.
If you live in (or are visiting) Vermont and you’ll be here this coming weekend, please consider volunteering:
Carole and I are volunteering, as we’ve done for years, and we’d be honored if you’d donate toward our team fundraising bucket —
https://fundraise.vtfoodbank.org/fundraise/team?ftid=103436 — click the link to the left and pick whichever of us you’d like to sponsor.
We’d like to raise at least $1,000, which is still a drop in the bucket when you consider how many hungry people there are out there, but it’s a start. If we all work together, not just one weekend a year but all year, we actually can make a difference.