Entering into September and a new season, we are fresh on the heels of the flooding disaster in Houston and South Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida and southern states affecting so many. The climb back to normalcy will be slow, measured in months and years. Feeding America is monitoring the situation on-the-ground and coordinating with national disaster partners, Feeding Texas and Hurricane Irma relief efforts as well as impacted network members. FA’s national office contingents are in these regions now and will continue to serve as a central point of communication for all network and national donor offers of support to relieve other network staff of this coordination effort. We will continue to share the latest news through our social media as we receive updates.The disasters are examples of the volatility in our world today. It is hard to keep track of let alone know how you should react. You may even wonder – ”Can I really make a difference?” Let me assure you the answer is yes.
Second Harvest is fortunate to be a part of a month-long effort in September: Hunger Action Month. It’s goal is to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger and join the movement to help end hunger. Shining a light on the real plight of families struggling in our region is critical to moving toward a solution. They are mothers, fathers, school children, grandfathers and grandmothers - people you see every day.
The first step to action is the hardest. Two people who took action when they saw their neighbors in need are Denny and Rose Jaeckin. With the growing need in their community they convinced the village to donate space and started the Plymouth Shiloh Food Pantry. They were an early adopter of the Farmer’s Market concept and took it on the road to help surrounding towns to reach families throughout Huron County. One of those markets takes place in the Village of Monroeville, a place with need but no food pantry to serve the citizens. The Jaeckins went to the Mayor and the Village Council for permission to put on the summer Farmer’s Markets. Four years later, they provide food for nearly 200 families at each market. This summer, they will host nine Farmer’s Markets at five area villages and still run their Plymouth Shiloh Food Pantry.
Stories like these inspire us to take action every day. The actions of one or a few people can always make a difference. You don’t have to open a food pantry or operate a food bank to take action when it comes to our neighbors in need. Volunteer, share information, make a donation, and help spread the word about hunger in our community.
Together, we can take action and make a difference.
Julie Chase-Morefield is the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.