Written by Priscilla Berg
WeAs spring slowly approaches, many of us are lamenting our “pandemic pounds” – the weight we gained from too much time in the house over the past year with easy access to the refrigerator. At the same time, the number of people in our country facing food insecurity nearly doubled, from 135 million in 2019 to 265 million in 2020. In Minnesota, 1 in 12 people face food insecurity, including 1 in 8 children.*
The impact was greatest for those who had the least, including low-wage workers and minority populations.
The result? Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, which serves New Brighton and nearby communities, saw a 45% increase in demand in 2020. Many families used the food shelf for the first time. Ralph Reeder also met the crisis by moving to drive-by pick-up and even making over 2,300 deliveries direct to homes.
Although we may soon see the economy slowly improve, even the pre-pandemic level of hunger is too high for our wealthy nation.
Lent is seen as a time of fasting and repentance, and Isaiah 58:6-7 says, “Is this not the fast I choose…Is it not to share your bread with the hungry…?”
One way we can “share our bread” is through donations to our partner, the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf. Let’s set ourselves a challenge. Let’s commit to donating what we would spend for our family’s food for one day (average of $12 per day per person in Minnesota), or two days, or even a week!
Cash donations are most effective because Ralph Reeder can purchase about $10 worth of food for every dollar donated.
Donations can be made on their web site: https://www.moundsviewschools.org/Domain/75 or by mailing a check to Ralph Reeder, 2544 Mounds View Blvd., Mounds View, MN 55112. Call 651-621-6280 if you have questions or want to make an appointment.
We pray: Our Father, give us this day our daily bread, and move us to share it with our neighbor. Amen.
P.S. Another place to support is Second Harvest Heartland, www.2harvest.org