I was hungry as a little girl. My mother put us in situational poverty due to repeated divorces and bad choices made on her behalf. I loved school because that meant that I would get to eat a meal. We never knew where our next meal would come from.
Momma would buy groceries once every two weeks, but if you have a family then you know that is not enough food. Some of her actons were just senseless. Why would she buy us a bag of kisses instead of food. I thought it was normal to go to the grocery store and she would open a bag of Hershey's Kisses and we ate the whole bag before we finished shopping. Momma would just give the empty bag to the cashier to ring up the price. We lived on Spam and chicken pot pies. No vegetables and fruit was a luxury. There was no rhyme or reason to her thinking. Somehow, we survived.
I guess that is why I have such a big place in my heart for homeless and hungry people. I worked at a food pantry where I was the director. I saw all kinds of people in need. Desperate people, people no one wanted to see or help, but we did help them at our food pantry. No judgement about their situation, no condemnation, no disappointments for the client. These people are the least, the lost, the forgotten and the left behind. Our clients came in for more than food, they came in for the friendship, love and compassion.
Poverty is insidious. It runs through all families, in all nationalities, and in all parts of the world. It rears it's ugly head when a parent uses a paycheck for booze instead of buying food for the family. Unselfish parents would go hungry before they would let their children go hungry. But ah, the selfish ones don't give a damn about anyone except themselves. Hunger hurts little children and adults. Not having a job hurts because a parent can not provide for their child. Hunger does not discriminate. The elderly are hungry, the young, the poor, the widow, the laid off worker, the drug addict, the ex-con right out of jail,grandmothers raising their grand kids.
Did you know that anyone with a felony can not get any a government services. So if you have done your time and learned your lessons, then how do you get any support. We are blessed that in our little town, many people care about this plight. We have a lot of church support, but there still needs to be more. It is almost impossible to get employed with a record, unless you can find an employer that is willing to give ex-cons a fair break. Same thing for recovering drug addicts.
What really does my heart good is when you see other homeless people helping one another. It is just so powerful to witness the compassion among those in need. They have so little, but are willing to share. I call it a God thing.