Sunday, December 8, 2013

Paying It Forward With Food / The Real Meaning Of Christmas

Let me talk to you for just a minute...provided some of you can break away from the never ending mourning period for Paul Walker and Nelson Mandela.

Harsh? Stay with me...

Instead of mourning over two individuals that you have never met and have had no direct impact on your life. Harness that misdirected passion to help your brothers and sisters that may live right next door. I am not attempting to belittle the passing of anyone. I simply would like to ask that you put things in perspective. Food banks are hurting and the situation has now reached a potential devastating crisis stage for millions of Americans.


There is a common misconception that only the lower middle class use food pantries and they do so because they are too busy buying beer and smokes...maybe. Consider this very real and documented fact being the number of upper middle class individuals and family members now seeking assistance from food banks has grown and the number of children that go to bed hungry is a real tragedy. (Go to for figures and more information). Feeding America is another great web site.

People just don't need help between November and January, people are hungry all year long and you can help. Look up the local food pantries in your area and if you don't know of any then call Metro United Way or a local church. A few cans of healthy food can literally mean the difference between life and death for the very people you live and work with.

I have been blessed by the kindness of people I don't know and many I do know from my column that have donated to my cause. Thanks to advanced liver disease, I now know more than ever the extreme importance of a balanced diet. Looking to volunteer? They will not come looking for you. You have to make it happen. No one donation can cure my liver disease. No one can of vegetables can end hunger in your neighborhood but it is a start.

Call it good karma, paying it forward or the desire to take those warm Christmas feelings and make them last all year long - do what you can. You may not have much yourself but when you take stock of where you can cut, five dollars of healthy canned food can make a difference for someone in your own neighborhood. Challenge a friend, a co-worker, a relative...

Make it happen.