Sunday, February 26, 2017 – “10,000 Meals in 2 Hours”
This weekend I participated in the 14th 30 Hour Famine at St. Philip Church in Norwalk. It was the 4th year in a row that we all participated in the meal packing service project. This year, however, was the first time I had a grandson join us! Of course he did not pack a meal, he is way too young, AND it was the first time I thought about it from his perspective.
The STOP HUNGER NOW truck arrived and we unloaded it. Bruce directed the volunteers and in less than a half hour we had the gym set up and ready to accept 100 volunteers to pack 10, 000 meals. As we waited for the kids to arrive to start the process, my grandson was passed from one friend to another. I thought to myself, what a lucky little boy to be so loved by so many and likely never to face a day of true hunger in his life! He was born in this great country called America to a middle class family who has a grocery story less than a mile away from their front door. He was born to a family who has always had plenty of material items surrounding them and plenty of food on the table at every meal. We all have never known an “empty fridge”. We have all actually paid money in the past to learn how to eat LESS food!! Kind of bizarre, but nevertheless, a very fortunate and lucky place for this well loved baby boy to be born into!
On this side of the world, Baby Anthony would be able to slurp down the sweet potatoes or spit out the green beans. His parents will run back and forth to the store to get the perfect combinations of foods he likes and I, as Grandma, will continue to ask, “Does he like the apple sauce or bananas better?”, “Does he want Cheerios or the snacks you brought?”, “Does he want milk or juice?” The choices we have at our fingertips, in our cabinets, and in the refrigerator are endless.
I thought about how many children, in a land-locked West African country called Bacino Faso, would only know food that comes in a plastic bag labeled with cooking directions printed on it and comes with an enclosed packet of nutrients. These packs of food will be cooked over an open fire and will feed a family of six in one sitting. This nutrient-enhanced rice and soy mixture will become the daily staple in their lives. On the other side of the world, in that country and in so many others, the choice is limited. Rice or no rice? Add the herbs and nutritional packets or not? Those are the choices that so many other mothers and grandmothers will have as they spoon feed their own 10 month old babies the rice that was packed by the 100 volunteers in Norwalk, CT on Feb. 26, 2017 at the 14th Annual 30 Hour Famine to raise money and awareness of world hunger.
I truly felt blessed when I looked at that baby, our baby, knowing he was born into so much love, luck, and food. And I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer for each of those other babies who will receive the work of our hands and hearts this day.