Hunger in Alexandria

greatdepressionWith many of you, I’ve been watching the new Ken Burns series on PBS this week:  “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.” One image that has stuck with me from last night’s show is the image of the men standing in line for hours for food during the Great Depression.

This is but one portrait of hunger. Here in Alexandria, we still have lines of people waiting for food (if you’d like to see them, help out at one of the food distribution sites through ALIVE! some Saturday). But the face of hunger today in our city is more complex than food lines.

What does it look like? According to a recent report for the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria, it looks like:

  • Thousands of Alexandrians (perhaps as many as one in five) who are “food insecure,” meaning that they consistently lack healthy affordable food.
  • Obesity because food options that are affordable are often not healthy.
  • Students who receive free lunch at school but go home on the weekends to households with insufficient food.
  • Seniors with fixed incomes.
  • Working families who spend over 30% of their income on housing and don’t have enough left over for items on their grocery list.

We live in one of the wealthiest communities in the nation. Surely we can find ways to work together to end hunger!

To this end, the faith communities in Alexandria have organized “Hunger Free Alexandria”  (www.hungerfreealexandria.com) and would like to invite you to the kick-off festival at Fairlington Presbyterian Church this Sunday, September 21 from 12:30-2:30pm. There will be music, food, facepainting, AND commitments to end hunger in Alexandria.

Here are the commitments that Good Shepherd will publicly announce that day, as identified by our church council:

  • $1500 to the Hunger Free Alexandria Fund
  • Encourage members to plant a garden/expand a garden and donate the produce
  • Collect nonperishables for ALIVE every week (rather than two months/year)
  • Serve an additional meal/month at Meade Memorial (or another site)

You and your family can be part of these initiatives! Join us to end hunger in Alexandria.

We can do this!

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