As the holiday season starts to wind down, you hear a shift in priorities. People are talking a little less about the giving season and little more about their carb intake. They are looking at the year ahead and wondering what will be different than the year before. What will my focus be and will I stay on track with my resolutions? Everyone’s priorities are different and one thing I can’t help but wonder is will the state of hunger in our community change or improve at all?
The situation is so dire for so many families and there isn’t an end in sight for many of them. We received a letter from a senior who lives right here in northern Nevada. She had a god job for many years and lost that job due to improvements in technology. She falls under the poverty line but doesn’t qualify for any assistance except for $16 per month in SNAP. She has had a difficult time getting work because she is 70 now. She has faced two rent increases and struggles to pay for even the most basic necessities, like food. She rations her food, toothpaste and toilet paper. She reads during the day to save on electric costs. I wish so very much that this one person’s story was uncommon. I wish there weren’t 94,000 more just like her trying to get by. I wish we didn’t see people like her every day and I wish more than anything that the stigma of being hungry and struggling financially would fade enough that we could solve this problem.
You hear so much about the economic growth in our area but there are so many left behind to struggle with rising rents and stagnant incomes. I worry about our ability to meet the need of those who suffer in silence because they don’t want others to know how difficult their lives have become.
I wonder about the long term consequences of families and children not having the nutrition they need. How will these vulnerable children do in school? Will they be sick more often and will they be able to get ahead when they enter the work force?
We are looking at a tough time ahead and resources to help low income families are always in jeopardy. While you set your goals in 2018 to get more steps, to eat more vegetables and to spend more quality time with your families, please join us in a resolution to be the voice for these families when the time comes. Help us to let our community know that hunger is not something that happens only during the holiday season, but all throughout the year.
I LOVE our supporters. YOU are the glue that keeps this community Food Bank together. YOU are the donors, volunteers and advocates that fight for those who face hunger. It’s almost 2018. Let’s show this hunger problem who is boss! Together we can solve hunger. Thank you!
Jocelyn Lantrip is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and has worked for the organization for six years. She loves her job as a hunger fighter and is very passionate about families getting the food they need. She also loves to talk about the Food Bank and give tours of the warehouse facility. Contact her anytime with questions.