Experientialist: a collector of experiences, especially one-of-a-kind.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard of global hunger…….
Raise your hand if you’ve heard the U.S. economy is getting better…………
The line starts forming at 9:00 a.m., or earlier. All the better to be one of the first. The truck arrives and starts to set up at approximately 9:30 a.m. Around 10:00 a.m., things are mostly ready and people can start going through the line. First, however, before that happens a piece of paper must be signed. The name of the person in line and the number of people in the household. They fill their bags, boxes, wheelchairs, baby strollers with anything and everything that they can carry. You see carts are not allowed. One trip through the line per person is the rule, unless there is no one left, then a second trip is allowed. No money exchanges hands, but thank yous and hugs are always welcome.
This is not a grocery store, a food bank or a church’s food closet, it’s lower than that. This is the last stop for this food before it is THROWN away (oh, wait, I mean given to the pig farmers).
Raise your hand if you have heard of “the people who fall through the cracks”…
Raise your hand if you have heard of “the people who live on the fringe”….
This is the place where pride and dignity are obliterated by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – specifically the Physiological Need. Maslow felt that of all of the needs, the Physiological Needs were the most important; they should be met first.
These are U.S. citizens. They live in every town U.S.A., go to the same church, have children in the same school, watch the Superbowl (if they can), and hope that the government is telling the truth when it says the economy is getting better. They might live in a house, some live along the river, others in tent cities, and some just lost their home to a fire (http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/fire-destroys-colfax-home).
Can you pick them out of a crowd? Sometimes. Do they live in your neighborhood, down the street, or right next door? Yes. Is there a child in your school that goes hungry at night? Many.
On this beautiful February day, the line was the longest it had ever been, at least 300 feet, all the way to the back wall. It took approximately an hour and a half to empty the truck. There are some that do not come for themselves, they come for churches, tent cities, people who live “off grid”. The truck only comes twice a month.
First I have a challenge for you: Go to your local food bank, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate food. Experience, see for yourself what is going on. Don’t wait for the holidays, people are hungry all the time.
Second is a plea: Somewhere out there in my followers – someone works for a publication or knows someone who works for a magazine or a newspaper. The man who started this project said that publicity is very good, it helps increase the donations. This story must be told and there is much, much more to say.
Third: Please, please, please pass this along on your social media sites. The more people who understand and see how real this is, the more locally we can act.
Last but not least: In some ways I too am one of the “people who have fallen through the cracks”. I have no children, so I do not qualify for welfare. My UI benefits are a little too much for me to qualify for state assistance. Because I’ve had cancer I am too afraid to not pay for medical insurance. Just for rent, car payment and medical insurance alone I have a negative out-go of $160.00 per month. This does not include utilities, gasoline, car insurance, food, etc. I could go to a food bank, but I do not because I think there are other people out there that need the assistance much more than I do.
Raise your hand if you can donate at least a can of soup……………………..