I can imagine going without lots of things. New shoes. Fancy shampoo. Heck, I wore nursing bras longer than I should probably admit. (TMI?) But one thing I can't imagine is my kids going without food. Ever. I think Radley was almost 4 before he felt an actual hunger pain. The kid had food shoved at him basically every 5 minutes because we are on schedules and routines - we stop for snacks, and our kids walk around with water bottles because heaven forbid they ever get thirsty and not have something readily available.
But this isn't the case for so many people. And not just people far away, but people, families, CHILDREN in our towns, in our neighborhoods, in our schools. And I'll admit, I didn't always "get it" - I didn't always see, but then it happened.
My students volunteer at the BV Food Bank every week and I join them from time to time. I had just helped them stuff bags for the Backpack Program and the next week I had meetings at Radley's school.
And I saw them.
Dozens of bags of food that were going home with students, classmates, friends of Radley's. His school. Our school. And I stood in that hallway and I wept. Not out of pity, but anger. Food insecurity is an epidemic in so many communities, it doesn't discriminate, it doesn't care how hard a parent works, or how young a child is - it's everywhere.
But we can do something about it, we can all play a role in stopping the epidemic. Holly shares this passion (you may remember how she coordinates families volunteering at the Food Bank every summer) so we got together and hosted an afternoon to support The Empty Bowls Project.
This is "an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger." U Paint It is offering anyone to paint a soup bowl for a small fee to be donated to the Empty Bowls Project auction. For a small donation, attendees of the event get a modest meal of soup, bread and will also leave with a painted bowl.
I love that our community is rallying to fight hunger.
And there is still time for you to join!
If you'd like to get involved, you have until November 12 to swing by U Paint It and paint a bowl. This is a really great way to start talking to your kids about serving. It's a great way to build community with your friends. It's just a great way to play a small part in a really big problem.
After you've finished your masterpiece, make plans to stop by Frame Gallery on Saturday, November 21 from 11am-1pm. This is where your donation gets you lunch and a hand painted bowl as a reminder that hunger exists. Not far away but right here.
Holly issued the most beautiful challenge today and I do hope you accept.
May we all accept. Because it's not just the problem for those around us. It's OUR problem, too.
How will you fill an empty bowl?