The holiday season growing up was both magical and terrifying as my family at times struggled with food insecurity. There were times when I went without food as the holiday season drew closer and closer. However, as the holiday season came upon us, food was made available to us via donations by family, friends and people within our neighborhood.
With limited food stamp benefits, it was hard for my mother to support a family of four with no job, as she was too sick to work. Although, food was not always consistently available throughout the year, my mother always went above and beyond to make sure we had a great Christmas. My mother enjoyed cooking and from her I learned to appreciate the specialness of sharing a great meal with loved ones. I also learned to enjoy cooking and it is something I will always cherish.
Hunger is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Those who have grown up their entire life with food insecurity, more often than not, are exposed to it as an adult. There is a perceived notion that because you are hungry it means that you are poor or too lazy to find employment, when in fact it is the absolute opposite. The people who you see going to the food pantries, soup kitchens or are receiving food stamps are more often than not the working poor. These are people who earn a living, but can’t make enough to support their family.
At times I was unable to afford food, because I thought having the electric and heat on were more important. Hunger is a problem that has perpetuated from childhood to adulthood. Right now, I am in my senior year of college working towards two degrees in accounting and marketing and will graduate in the Fall of 2014. After graduation, I hope to find a position that will give back to the community, whether it’s through a local food bank, or a local philanthropy. I want to be able to make an impact in the lives of those who suffer from food insecurity because I have experienced it myself.
Anyone can make an impact in the fight against hunger. Just by speaking up and shining a light on the issue a person can make a huge difference. Philabundance is a wonderful organization to work with, because the donations you give are benefiting your community directly. Every donation and every voice is an important tool in the fight against hunger.