Reflecting on the fight against hunger on the eve of Thanksgiving

November 21, 2012 at 9:28 am

As we head into Thanksgiving weekend, many of us are anticipating a celebrating with our family and friends by sharing a special meal and taking the time out of our busy lives to spend some quality time together. Many of us will spend this evening in crowded supermarkets securing last-minute ingredients and making preparations. As we look forward to the holiday, and particularly as we think about what we are thankful for in our lives, it is important to take a moment to reflect on the millions of families who will not be able to afford a Thanksgiving meal, let alone meet their nutritional needs on a daily basis.

For many of these families, Thanksgiving would be just another day of hardship if it weren’t for the volunteers and organizations working on this holiday to provide a warm meal, supplies and food, and helping hand.   In North Carolina, 17 percent of households are “food insecure,” meaning that they cannot meet their nutritional needs because of a lack of access to food or lack of resources. Food Banks and other hunger-fighting organizations around the state work year round to alleviate this problem, but on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas they also work to make these days special for everyone. Here are just a few of the efforts going on around the state:

  • Durham Rescue Mission will be hosting its Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner tomorrow, where they will also be giving away warm clothes and groceries.
  • Interfaith Food Shuttle’s 6th annual Turkey Takeout took place on November 16. They distributed 500 turkeys and thousands of pounds of vegetables, greens, rice, bread, and pumpkin pies to 25 agencies that will distribute these foods to families in need.
  • Ingles Markets and MANNA Food Bank kicked off their 20th annual Ingles Giving Tree at Asheville Mall this week, which is a Christmas tree made of 10 tons of stacked non-perishable food items. They will be taking donations to MANNA and Ingles will match donations for the rest of the year, up to $25,000.
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro will host its 24th Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless, hungry, housebound, and elderly poor. They serve 4,000 meals each year.

Distributing food to families in need is a vital component of improving access to food that these organizations and Food Banks provide. Many hunger relief efforts have also begun to incorporate healthy and fresh local foods in their efforts, connecting local small farmers with consumers who would otherwise not have access to healthy foods. This is a step toward an integrative approach for creating a sustainable, equitable  accessible food system in all communities. In order to truly relieve the problem of access to food, especially healthy foods, stakeholders from across the spectrum– producers, distributors, retailers, educators, policy makers, etc– need to work collaborate across sectors.

As we enjoy our meals tomorrow and the companionship of our loved ones, take a moment to think about those who are struggling and how we can make our state a more equitable and just place. To all our readers, The Support Center wishes you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Entry filed under: Economic Development, Economy, Healthy Foods. Tags: , .

This Saturday (11/24) is Small Business Saturday Small Businesses Can Handle Taxes; Need is Stability


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