As you anticipate sitting down next Thursday to a table full of food and a house full of family and friends take a moment to think about what it might be like if you could not afford that food.  What if you had to choose between eating and paying your rent?

Most of us have a hard time putting ourselves in that position.  We may think we have “sacrificed” by not buying a name brand item or choosing a less expensive option.  But to be truly hungry must be a horrible, humbling experience.

The USDA defines food insecurity in varying degrees- the bottom 2 being “low food security (formerly called food insecurity without hunger) and very low food security (formerly called food insecurity with hunger)

According to the USDA Household Food Security Report of 2014, which looks at a 3 year average for each state, Ohio ranks 6th in Low or Very low food insecurity.  That means only 5 other states have more people hungry than ours. This includes Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Texas.   Even worse is Ohio’s ranking at 3rd in very low food security.  In addition, food insecurity reports indicate that the rates of food insecurity are higher for households in nonmetropolitan areas (more rural areas) than those households in metropolitan areas.

Helping Hands served 219 families with 740 individuals and 259 children during the month of November.  We have seen an 11 % increase in need in 2015.

The bottom line is that we all have neighbors in need.  We have seen them in our community.   Now that you are aware- what can you do?  Did you know that even the donation of the cost of  a cup of coffee and significantly help?  Helping Hands has been able to decrease our cost per meal from $.32 per meal in 2014 to $.11 per meal in 2015.  A $1.00 donation can buy 9 meals!

Just something to think about as we sit down to feast next week.  For it is…

“not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true meaning of thanksgiving”…W.T. Purkiser


Have a blessed Thanksgiving from all of us at Helping Hands.