Another Reason for Thanksgiving

It is likely that we all have things for which we are thankful. Take just a moment and list five things. Some of us may have included health, family, a successful business or profession, a comfortable home, a new entertainment center or new car we’ve had an eye on. Most of us will have long lists of things to be thankful for when we celebrate Thanksgiving dinner this month. For many of our neighbors it would be a real bounty to know for sure that there will be food on the table not only for Thanksgiving but day in and day out or that one of the local meal programs will be serving breakfast, lunch or dinner or that when the weekend comes the children will have something to eat. Monongalia County has 11 food pantries that provide basic groceries to supplement what families are able to provide. A bag of groceries containing basics such as canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, peanut butter, and maybe some fresh produce or meat. Such a bag of groceries can make all the difference when at the end of the month one has more days than dollars.
The 7 meal programs provided by volunteers, church groups and charitable agencies throughout Monongalia County also help support already thin food budgets by providing meals. Through the web of meal programs many of our neighbors have the opportunity for at least one nutritious meal per day. Another defense in the fight against hunger is the simple act of giving a bag of easily prepared food items to school children on Friday to help carry them through the weekend until they can return to school where they receive breakfast and lunch.
Empty Bowls Monongalia is working hard to help support those who are fighting hunger here in Monongalia County. Currently Empty Bowls Mon helps to support, through grants, 11 food pantries, 7 meal programs and 3 weekend backpack programs. This year as we give thanks for our own bounty perhaps we can remember those food pantries, meal programs and backpack programs that are working hard to help our neighbors who are hungry.
All of us, individuals, faith communities and businesses, can support their efforts by supplying soup for the next annual Empty Bowls luncheon event in February or by providing a generous grant. In addition, we can purchase a ticket for the luncheon and/or volunteer to assist in serving the expected 1500 patrons. Let us give thanks this Thanksgiving by enabling others to give thanks for the food they have for their families.