The Kindness of Strangers

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“She walked briskly out of the supermarket.  The aisles of food and the smell of fresh fruit and vegetables had made her light-headed. She had spent two dollars on a dozen eggs and some bread and only had ten dollars left in her purse – in quarters.  She passed by a man who was standing near a bench by the store entrance. He was tall, thin, about thirty-something, dressed in clean jeans and a t-shirt, and was African American. He was asking people for money to buy some food. She glanced at him, mumbled “Sorry, I can’t” and continued walking.

Then, something in her sub-conscious made her stop and turn around. He was sitting on the bench, his head in his hands. She noticed something that she recognized only too well.  Despair.  She reached into her purse and counted five dollars worth of quarters (half of what she had left to last her for the next two weeks) and she walked back to the man and said “Excuse me sir, but here is five dollars in quarters. I hope this will help tide you over.”  He looked at her.  She could hear the intake of his breath.  His eyes were clear and intelligent.  He stood up and thanked her, very earnestly and with respect.  Their eyes met and he understood.  They were the same.”

― from  the vignette “The Kindness of Strangers” – pp. 52-53 of Casualties of the (Recession) Depression, by Heather Joan Marinos

(Copyright © 2013 by Heather Joan Marinos – All Rights Reserved)

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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 (of hands) via dosomething.org.

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.”

HFH2

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.