Recently, I sat down to help my kindergartener with a homework assignment about her three favorite family traditions. It reminded me how important traditions become during this time of year. Decorations come out of the attic, holiday travel plans come together and we reflect on those traditions that we cherish with our families and new ones we hope to start.
When I think of the traditions that have mattered most to me throughout my life, food is present in all of them. During those formative experiences, there was often a table or a gathering that revolved around a hot meal or a full buffet of holiday favorites. The memories around those occasions stack up and they shape who we are and who we become.
Many Are Our Neighbors
To think that these traditions don’t exist for some is sobering. We often think of those who can’t participate in holiday celebrations as living somewhere else, or being someone else and not people that live right next door or people we may know.
In fact, we know that there are some 900,000 people across greater Atlanta who face hunger. Many of them are our neighbors. Many have faced disruptions in their lives – a job loss, a divorce, a medical catastrophe. Their circumstances can force them to miss out on family get-togethers and traditions they hold dear. They can feel isolated and become disconnected, while celebrations carry on without them.
Hope for the Holidays
Thankfully, the Food Bank is surrounded by a caring community of people. Many of you have told me you can’t stand the thought of anyone missing a meal, especially a holiday meal. With your support, we will ensure that thousands of families will continue their traditions this holiday season. Ms. Munson will join her community for the annual Thanksgiving dinner at Berean Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Atlanta. Mary lost her job two months ago, but she’ll have the food she needs for the holidays thanks to our partner agency Sweetwater Mission in Austell. We partner with more than 600 organizations like these who couldn’t do what they do without the food they get from the Food Bank. And we couldn’t provide that food without you.
While we are making great strides, we’re not reaching everyone who needs our help. Please stand with us as we work to include every person in our community in the tradition of celebrating around the table.
Because of you, I have great hope for this holiday season. And I have hope for a future where everyone can participate in the celebration – where each and every person can hold onto the traditions they value so greatly.
-Kyle Waide, President & CEO