I knew hunger existed in Clare County, Michigan but I never experienced it like I did on Oct. 29, 2011 when I participated in a food distribution sponsored by the Community Nutrition Network.
I volunteered to assist with the distribution on what turned out to be a cold rainy Saturday. The distribution was scheduled for 11 a.m. that day and when I arrived at 8 a.m. there were already people waiting to get into the building carrying bags, boxes and other containers with which to take their free food home.
As the time came nearer to 11 a.m. the line grew steadily until several hundred people waited in a long line that snaked through the empty bus transit building that opened for the purpose. There were elderly people with walkers and canes, young families or single parents carrying babies or standing with children who–in a perfect world–would have been sitting in a warm house watching cartoons. Each person was different but they had one trait in common: they all waited patiently. Some of them asked how they could volunteer so they could give back to this organization that was helping them. Some offered thanks for the fact they were being helped. As they waited they could also view nutritional information,recipes and tips to make them better shoppers and showing them how they could eat better at less cost.
My heart broke for those in line, not only because they were in need but also because I could see myself in that line in the not-to-distant-future if I am unable to secure a job.
The Community Nutrition Network is a group of volunteers who wrote a grant to bring food to the needy in the county. For more information on how you can become involved contact Pastor Mike Simon at The Gathering Church at 989-539-1445 or Genine Hopkins at 989-539-1352. The group is looking for faith-based organizations to sponsor a truck for upcoming months.