Kudos to the Non-profit Organizations and Volunteers Who Fight the Fight… to alleviate hunger, poverty and homelessness

Earth fragile future

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Anne Frank

 

I have always viewed volunteer workers and non-profit organizations – such as (but not limited to) The World Food Programme, Feeding America and Action Against Hunger/Action Contre La Faim – with deep and profound respect.

It is a difficult and thankless job.

Ahhh, but many of these dedicated men and women don’t view it as a “job”…  nor do they expect a pat on the back, let alone an actual “Thank You.”

Imagine, for a moment, what it must feel like to see hardship, hunger, poverty and sickness… day in and day out. Yet, these volunteers press on… hoping, no, praying that they are somehow making a difference, making a dent in this world epidemic that is Hunger.

Imagine what it must feel like to try to recruit people to help… to contribute their time and yes, their money, to a problem that – like it or not – affects us all.  So many people (too many) prefer to turn a blind eye.  Until it happens to them. And for those raising their eyebrow: it can happen to them. And to you. And to me.  It is never wise to be complacent. As we’ve seen with disasters like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, it can happen in a flash.  Here today, gone tomorrow.

So today marks the last day of my 3½-week Help Fight Hunger book promotion.

To say that I am “disappointed” is a huge understatement, but it will not deter me from continuing to contribute my time and writing to helping others, to raise awareness on important issues that ultimately affect us all, and to hope that someone – anyone – will listen and perhaps even join the effort to help those who need our help.

I’d like to take a moment to thank the family members, friends, and colleagues who have been kindly “spreading the word” on behalf of my Help Fight Hunger campaign. Most importantly, I’d like to express my deep love and gratitude to my husband for putting up with all the intensity. 

I hope that I’ve provided you with some informative, thought-provoking blogs on a subject that is discomfiting, but nevertheless very current and critical. 

Thanks for reading.

― Heather

HFH2

Image (t the very top) via erikarachel.com.

Hunger up north

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 “Reducing household food insecurity, and the poverty that underlies it, is a win-win situation. It is a win for people facing low income, and for Canada as a whole. One does not need to look far to find many libraries worth of evidence that poverty is a key negative influence on health. Reducing low income leads to better health, which leads to higher levels of economic participation and lower costs related to health care and social services.”

Food Banks Canada, Hunger Count 2012

Here is the hunger news from our northern neighbors, and  my “Home and Native Land” …

The Numbers:

According to Food Banks Canada:

  • each month, 882,188 Canadians need to rely on food banks to feed their families
  • 31% more Canadians rely on food banks now, than before the recession
  • over one third are children and teens
  • 14% of the elderly Canadian population who live alone, are impoverished
  • 3.2 million Canadians live in poverty

The Solutions:

Food Banks Canada recommends some small policy changes that will help rectify some of the root causes of hunger and poverty:

  • make housing more affordable, and therefore more attainable
  • increase social investment in Northern Ontario
  • make pensions more adequate for the seniors who are impoverished, and who are experiencing food insecurity, as well as health issues
  • invest in good quality, support-intensive social assistance programs
  • address the issue of the decline in well-paying jobs

For more solutions, itemized in the Say No To Hunger campaign petition(sponsored by Food Banks Canada), go to:

http://www.saynotohunger.ca/SayNoToHunger/Our-Solution.aspx

Canadians, you may want to consider signing the petition!

 

HFH2

The “Golden Years” are not always so golden

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Unless one’s heart is made of stone, most can agree that the reality of child hunger is a heartbreaking and very unpalatable pill to swallow. 

Human existence is cyclical. We begin life as children who depend on parents or family members for our food, our living conditions, and our sense of well-being and worth.   

As we move towards the last chapter of our lives, our health and frailty make it impossible to survive without depending on our children, family members, or community − for our food, our living conditions, and our sense of well-being and continued worth.

The golden years are supposed to be a time in life when we, who have worked so hard and who have taken care of so many, earn the right to kick back, relax and enjoy the company of loving family and friends, as they surround us with their affection and care.

Sadly, this is not everyone’s reality.  Many seniors are left to cope alone.  Many have to juggle with decisions like whether to eat or pay the utility bills, whether to eat or pay for medication, and whether to eat or pay the rent. 

As I mentioned earlier, human existence is cyclical.

Unless one’s heart is made of stone, most can agree that the reality of senior hunger is a heartbreaking and very unpalatable pill to swallow. 

I’ll leave you with some sobering statistics, cited by the folks at Feeding America.  Next week, I will be taking a virtual hunger tour around the world because, as we all know, hunger has no geographic boundaries.

According to Feeding America,

“The number of older adults is projected to increase by 36% over the next decade and continue to rise in the following decade. In 2030 there will be 72.1 million older adults, almost twice as many as in 2008. Additionally, the senior population is becoming increasingly diverse.  Between 2010 and 2030, the white population of 65 and plus is projected to increase by 59% compared with 160% of older minorities.”

“These changing demographics will have profound impacts on the demand for social services, especially the need for adequate and culturally appropriate nutrition services.  Seniors may have unique nutritional needs and challenges that separate them from the rest of the population and must be considered.”

“In 2011, 4.8 million Americans over the age of 60 were food insecure. This constitutes 8.4% of all seniors. “

“The number of food insecure seniors is projected to increase by 50% when the youngest of the Baby Boom Generation reaches age 60 in 2025.”

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From Aug 14-Sept 7, purchase a copy of  Casualties of the (Recession) Depression, and for every $20 book purchased directly from my website,  I will be donating $5 from the proceeds of each book sale to either: Feeding America (US), Action Against Hunger (Canada), or The World Food Programme (Global). The purchaser chooses one of the three.

Image (at the very top) via mycarforcharity.com.