What’s on your neighbor’s plate?

Hungriest States of America

#9 North Carolina: 15.7% According to the Food Research and Action Center, Winston-Salem is the metro area in the U.S. with the most “food insecure” families, or households that have a hard time putting food on the table. “You say ‘hunger’ and people think of children in a third world country. They don’t think of the person next door,” says Tammy Caudill of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC. “But it is the person next door.”

Taken from http://takepart.msn.com/fighting_hunger/?section=gallerylong_4#section=gallerylong_4

If you use simple logic on this one, and everyone participated and helped their neighbor we could ease this crisis.  Everyone has a neighbor.  Some are four feet away between city building and brownstone windows.  For some their nearest neighbor is 15 miles east on the next farm.  BUT we all have at least one.  Wasn’t there a great command to love thy neighbor as thy self?  If you were hurting, and needed medicine or food, in today’s climate of self sufficiency, the very effective YOU would see that YOU got it.  We should all think the same about the people who live near us.

I have been fortunate to have (for the most part) excellent neighbors throughout my life.  I wish there were more time to spend with them.  Back when folks sat on their porches in the evening to unwind from the day, we knew more about each other.  We could share our burdens and in doing so find out that our burdens are similar, that they are our common ground more often than not. 

When we had one of the worst hurricanes in the last 20 years to hit our town, Fran I believe it was, our neighbors cooked together and ate together from the collective freezers as things thawed up.  It was several days if not weeks before some folks got power back, so we had to share, no we were able to share our water, our shower, our cook stoves and refrigerators.  Did this mean that we quit trying to do for ourselves, and expect others to care for us?  Certainly not!   In times of need, rise to the occasion to do the thing that most will not.  Show up.  Have some good food with you, and the most important thing of all, a nice smile and a good ear.

It is amazing how much good can come from doing simple things.

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What Groceries Cost

From time to time we look at each other at the grocery checkout and think, how did we possibly put that much into our shopping cart?  Today I started thinking about grocery shopping in a whole new way.  If you think about it any grocery shopping experience is a luxury.  In most of the world people eat what they have, there are no choices before them.  The only choice is to try to find something, anything to eat, or sit and starve.

So I feel very guilty that I grumble and complain at the cost for it is a true luxury that we are able to eat with such mindlessness and with so many choices in front of us.  Of course there is a premium.  I did nothing to raise the beef I bought nor did I rake and hoe the tomato or potato hills.  Yet I got fresh food, relatively fast.  It should not surprise me that it was costly.  I still do not like the price tag, but I think today I really put this into perspective.

Now if I can keep that perspective, I will feel better, but I am human and sadly used to being a spoiled American.