As all of you (hopefully) know, PTAA has been running an annual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC every year for the past ten years. Each year we try to raise more food than the last, and that’s necessary because every year the number of people that Second Harvest and its partner agencies serve also grows. The High Point Enterprise ran a series of stories this week that vividly illustrate the severe hunger issues in our community. Here’s just a sample from the first story in the series:
After all, there’s a reason the city has more than 40 food pantries and/or soup kitchens working to alleviate hunger.
There’s a reason the local Salvation Army just introduced a mobile food pantry to visit the city’s seven food deserts.
There’s a reason Guilford County Schools continues looking for new ways to feed its students who aren’t getting enough to eat at home.
There’s a reason so many schools have backpack programs, in which a sponsoring organization — say, for example, the United Way or Backpack Beginnings — provides backpacks stuffed with food for students to take home and eat over the weekend.
The reason? People are hungry, and those people — the faces of hunger — are not necessarily who you think they are.
“The thing about hunger is, it’s not always the stereotype,” says Carl Vierling, a local hunger advocate who works for Open Door Ministries as the coordinator of the Community Resource Network. In that capacity, Vierling has examined High Point’s hunger crisis extensively and is trying to coordinate community efforts to effect change.
And some of the individual stories are nothing short of heartbreaking:
This past summer, Lisa Hawley took food to a woman she’d heard about who was struggling to feed her three high school-aged sons. Hawley introduced herself and said to the woman, “I’ve brought you some food — do you need help?”
“I do,” the woman replied, “but do you see those seven children walking down the street? There’s not one thing to eat in their house. You need to give them that food.”
Hawley tears up as she tells the story.
“That broke my heart,” she says. “She needed help, but she wanted to give the food to someone else who needed it more.”
On Monday, November 24 we will be dropping off a check for a little over $6,500 at Second Harvest. This is a portion of the online donations we’ve received as part of our Food Drive, but please don’t take this to mean that the drive is over. Our 2014 drive doesn’t end until the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve and we ring in 2015. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members who have so enthusiastically participated to this point and to urge you to keep up the good work.
Here’s a link to the food drive page just in case you need it.
If you’d like to read the rest of the Enterprise stories you can find them here:
Faith Community Battles City’s Hunger Pains
Hunger Affects 25% of High Point Children
Backpack Programs Help Hungry Kids Get Through the Weekend
How Does High Point Resolve Its Hunger Crisis?