Hunger in America

Do you remember the event that was called “Hands Across America?”

I really don’t. I had my first baby in January of 1986, and the event happened on May 25th of that year.

It’s funny; I remember the scary things that year. Chernobyl, the bombing of Libya. I don’t remember when 6 million people held hands across the entire country, in a long line of hope, to raise awareness of hunger in America, and to raise money to alleviate it.

I wrote about that event on its 30th anniversary.  Please read the story, and please pass it on.

We need to think about the fact that more people in our country are hungry and homeless now than 30 years ago.

What does that say about us, I wonder?

Why Did 6 Million People Join Hands Across America?

If you want to help, VOTE CAREFULLY.

And check these links:

Project Bread

End Hunger Now


Whose tracks are these?

Winter nights

Sometimes I am just so incredibly grateful for the safety and predictability of my life.

It has been an unusually cold, harsh winter.  It has snowed  nearly every two days for weeks. The piles of snow in the yard now cover every bush and plant and tree stump. The pine trees in the woods behind our house are bending over in the wind, covered with mounds of icy frosting. Hungry birds cluster at the suet basket, desperate for food.

When the wind blows, my bay window fills with a screen of snowy crystals. I shiver as I watch them swirl past.

I am safe inside.  I have a solid roof, sturdy walls, a furnace at the ready.

Sometimes I am just so happy that I can stay right here.  On days like this, in months like this one, in winters as cold as we are seeing now, I am so happy that I can stay on my couch, my coffee cup in hand.  I am acutely aware of how lucky I am to have flour and yeast and eggs and honey as I mix up a batch of bread dough and let the warm smell fill my kitchen.

But on days like this one, as I stir my soup and hug my dogs and wrap up in another woolen sweater, I am also intensely aware of all of the people in my world who aren’t as lucky as I am.

I look out into the icy blue woods, and I think of people in my state, in my town, who are huddled somewhere tonight just praying that the cardboard box will keep out the vicious wind.  That tomorrow the soup kitchen will have something really hot to keep them going one more day.

I’m thinking of children, hungry tonight, and cold.  I’m thinking of young mothers, heating ramen noodles in tiny apartments, hoping that the heat will stay on for one more night.

I stand at my window, watching the world as if I am once again inside of a snow globe.  I think of my three young adult children, financially still fragile but protected by parents who will never let them be cold and afraid.  I feel my good luck in my bones and in my heart.  A part of me that I never earned, but which I cherish.

I am so grateful for this humble home.  So incredibly aware of how lucky I am today to be here. Warm and safe and at rest.

And I am so aware of my responsibility and my sense of duty to those who are not as lucky as I have been.

In the “richest country in the world”, in the “greatest country that has ever existed”, I stand at my window, looking out into another winter night.  I wonder what it is that we need to do to make sure that every single child has a warm bed tonight.