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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Knowing what hunger is?

I feel hungry.  As I sit on a conference call for work, I'm thinking about what to have for dinner.  I can have leftover meatloaf and potatoes, leftover homemade soup, cereal, pasta, veggies, eggs, grilled cheese, or just about anything that I can whip up.  I am realizing that I have cupboards and a refrigerator that are stocked full of things to eat, cook or make.

Today, I was reminded that most youngsters will come to any meeting if you offer food.  I fed five medical students lunch so we could talk about an upcoming phonathon for the scholarship drive.  They all said that any time I offered food, they knew we'd get some students.  I had extra sandwiches that I asked them to take and bring to their friends.  Five minutes later, someone who saw that they had the food came in to ask if we had any more leftovers.  I am fortunate to be able to have the office supply my lunch and theirs.

This week, I've seen many people begging for food.  I've also seen people who are sleeping on the street.  My gut gets wrenched each time I see a person who I know needs help.  Much of the help they need I cannot give.  I observe that some of the homeless people have what appear to be mental health concerns.  Others may simply be down on their luck.

When I was involved as a youth leader in a local church, we participated in something called the 40 hour famine a few different years.  The youth and their leaders all gathered at one church and spent 40 hours drinking only clear fruit juice.  We educated each other through games and conversations about what it was to be hungry.  These "40 hour famines" helped me to understand what it was like to go so long without food.  I can't even imagine going longer than that.  For that reason, every time I wait a little to long to eat and I get "hangry" I try to remind myself that not all people have a stocked fridge or the ability to order from Grubhub, a local pizza shop, the Chinese restaurant on the corner, go to the bodega to grab a submarine sandwich, or eat cereal just because they are lazy.

Tonight was one of those nights.  I decided to be "one" with my hunger just a little bit longer and walked to the grocery store to get some necessaries (almost out of toilet paper).  As I got home, I warmed up soup I made earlier this week and gulped it down quickly.  I couldn't even finish the blog before I ate.

I'm grateful, today and during this holiday season, that I have food enough to eat and to share with those I love and those I meet.

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