The research for and writing of the past three weeks’ blog posts has been stimulating and thought provoking for me. I immersed myself in articles, passages from books, reports on webpages and interviews with people speaking on the causes and results of poverty, some sharing first-hand experience. I could tell I had hit a homerun with the topics, as the response I got from readers was some of the best I’ve had since I started blogging. Unfortunately, everything I read or listened to when conducting my research was pretty bleak and depressing. Consequently, as I started to think about what to write about this week, I wanted to focus on something positive, some small success for those who are food insecure. While I have to believe those successes are out there, I struck out and could not find any to report. The result of all that research and the inability to find a single positive story to share this week has left me feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem of poverty and disheartened that the causes of poverty will ever really be addressed in any meaningful way. I find myself asking, “How can one person ever hope to make a difference?”
When I first started on this journey I would often become paralyzed by this sense of despair, but now I have learned to recognize its approach and shift my perspective in order to deflect the feeling of hopelessness brought on by studying the full scope of the problem of poverty on the national level. When I am ready to throw my hands up in the air and declare my efforts futile, I think about a quote from Mother Teresa that a friend from high school sent to me when I first encountered this paralyzing sense of despair.
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
When I reflect on that quote I remember that the problem of poverty is not mine to solve, nor could I if it were, but I can work locally to try and make a difference in my community.
With that said, I have decided to take the next few weeks to focus on actions I can take to assist the food insecure locally. I will continue volunteering in the food pantry, as well as spending time planning the initial steps for starting a non-profit. During this time I will probably post very little, if at all, to the blog, but I have a favor to ask of you. Take a look in your pantry and let me know what staples you have that you couldn’t imagine having to cook without. These staples could be spices or condiments or ingredients used in baking, like flour or baking soda. Keep them practical. Items like this are usually not available in food pantries, or even larger food banks, but are necessary in order to prepare healthy food that tastes good. As always, I appreciate your feedback!
This week’s blog pictures brought to you by Baseball! Sorry for the baseball puns. I couldn’t resist.