We had dinner Saturday night outside a friend’s Roland Park house, huddling outside over their fire pit. We strolled down the lane with the dogs and noticed many other neighbors doing the same. Obviously, these were not poor people, rather comfortable ones. Yet, we’re relegated to huddling around fire pits for physical and emotional warmth. The only safe way to visit with friends (to keep us and our kids sane) is to be outside in the dark, cold nights.
According to National Geographic, “By the end of this year, more than 50 million people could experience food insecurity, according to Feeding America, the country’s largest hunger-relief organization. That’s one in six Americans and one in four children—nearly a 50 percent increase from 2019. A Northwestern University study in June found that food needs had doubled nationally, and tripled for households with children. The pandemic has laid bare how many people are one paycheck or medical bill away from hunger.”
Relief is on its way, likely by late Spring in the form of a vaccine and people being outside again. Still, that means we face a long, tough, cold, dark, and lonely winter. And for millions of American school children, we have to add the adjective “hungry” as well. We need to listen to Governor Hogan who’s begging us to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, loved ones, and strangers by wearing a mask and practicing safe social distancing.
Every week, like postal carriers, Baltimore Hunger Project volunteers are outside of over a dozen schools providing free weekend meals. I volunteered to hand out food back in September with the Co-Founders of RIND Snacks. A nice young lady used a hand counter to click off each meal we handed out. We watched a seemingly endless line of cars patiently wait their turn. And, the young lady would click. She clicked 540 times that day. When (not if, when) this pandemic grows even worse, the clicks will climb.
Today is Giving Tuesday. As the old adage goes, “don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels good.”