When my mother, Jennie Tate Anderson, died in 1985, I was brokenhearted. I decided to do something for someone else in her honor. That summer, I began volunteering at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, sorting bread at first, then checking agency orders by hand.
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When I first began the Atlanta Community Food Bank in 1979, people often said to me, “I hope you can work yourself out of a job.” And I guess in the beginning that was my simple goal – no more hunger in a land of plenty. It seemed like a reasonable goal at the time since 30 percent of what we grew and packaged was unmarketable, often being sent to the landfill. Maybe all we needed, I thought, was a better logistics system.
Hungering at a Deeper Level
My journey with the SNAP Challenge 2015 is over, but yours can begin May 10-17, 2015. Thank you in advance for highlighting this important issue to ensure all Georgians have access to good, wholesome and locally-grown food. As you embark upon your journey, I leave you with these tips and words of wisdom:
When was the last time that you went to bed hungry and it WASN’T on purpose?
Think about it! When it WASN’T on purpose. There are many reasons when it IS on purpose: We want to lose weight - We might have a surgery scheduled; or a colonoscopy. But when it WASN’T on purpose.
Every year 1 in 7 Americans go to bed hungry and it’s not by choice. It’s by poverty. Or circumstance. Or poor decisions, or none of the above; OR all of the above. Yet the fact remains that on that night, wherever they may be they are faced with another night of hunger.
Did you know health experts recommend consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables daily? According to the USDA, as a nation, we only consume one serving of fruit and one and a half servings of vegetables per day. Many individuals and families have a hard time accessing produce in their communities. Perhaps people don’t understand how to cook or prepare the produce in a healthful manner, and many may be unaware of why fruits and vegetables are an important part of a nutritionally balanced diet.
Sarah, a current senior at South Forsyth High School, attended the 2014 Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Like all Youth Summit attendees, Sarah made a commitment to plan and complete a Hunger Fighting Action Step during the year following her participation with the Youth Summit. She decided to collect healthy snacks for kids for ACFB partner agency Meals by Grace. Even before the end of summer, she collected and donated over 750 snack servings from a neighborhood food drive.
We hear the calls of the health experts to improve our diets, get in better shape, and decrease our stress. We expect the promise for a healthy life to come quickly on the heels after making these changes, but what if you were unable to afford or access the healthy food that the experts recommend? Would that cause you stress? What if you were, or are, one of the 755,000 people who access food from a partner agency of the Atlanta Community Food Bank?