I went to a meeting at church tonight in which we talked about reality. There are children in local schools who are dependent on schools to provide their meals. Many of the children aren't eating when they go home at night. They aren't eating on the weekends. They aren't eating when school is out on break. One school administrator says the hardest thing he has to do is order the schools closed, because of inclement weather, because he knows that some of the children that depend on the schools aren't going to have any of the comfort of a heated building or anything to eat that day. That certainly gives one who enjoyed every snow day pause for perspective.
This is the reality of what is going on in this country. This isn't about ideology or self-reliance. This is about survival. In the land of plenty that are these United States, we should not have this. I know that some people that I have heard in this community think that this is a story of make believe, but I can assure you that it is not. It isn't about tugging on ones heart strings. It is about innocent people trying to survive.
Survival is the word of the day.. We have always had people struggling in this world. We have all faced adversity, but what I heard tonight is that we have an elementary school here in Hickory where over 92% of the children in that school are on the school meal program and this is the school where kids are falling through the cracks. Their families don't qualify for food stamps, but also don't have food in the house, because they don't have money. There are currently over 46 million people in the U.S. receiving Food Stamps according to the USDA.
This is a community problem and my church is looking for ways to address this issue. We are open to suggestions and possible solutions. We have ideas of our own that we are looking to move forward with in the very near future. The Church I attend is Mt. Olive Lutheran ELCA here in Hickory on Highway 127 in Viewmont.
Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit our Mt. Olive facebook page, if you have suggestions that may be helpful.
I will conclude that this is not about gloom, despair, or agony relating to the plight of these people who are in dire straights or our feelings related thereof. People want to talk about being solutions oriented. Well, here is their opportunity to put their money where their mouth is. There were thirteen people in that room tonight that feel a calling to embrace this challenge. We are humbled by this challenge and the journey that lies ahead. In some ways it seems daunting and in many other ways it is a wonderful challenge that allows us to glorify God.
In our mission, we aren't attempting to displace or change the other wonderful charitable endeavors that shape this community. What we are attempting to do is fulfill a niche. The Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM), the Hickory Soup Kitchen, and other benevolent ministries fulfill overall invaluable missions. We realize that there is such need in the community, in this economy, that it isn't going to be easy to procure the food and other items needed to fulfill every deficiency, but we are going to start out small and take this process one step at a time. And we will keep you updated every step of the way.
May God help those in need in our community.
Mount Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church
2780 North Center Street
Hickory, NC 28601-1341
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