Concerns-U Food Pantry. . . . The Voices and Faces of Hunger

My first reaction to this video was tears.  Things often touch my heart first and hardest.  But what happens after the tears dry?  Oh yes, I am a volunteer at Concerns-U, and I have donated food, and money for new children’s coats to ward-off the frigid New York winter.  I am doing more than lots of people, right?   But am I just applying a band-aid on an open wound? As a child, my mama would often remind me that “To whom much is given, much is expected” and I have tried to live by those words.

People will accuse the homeless of selling food to buy  alcohol and drugs. Do they ?    Maybe some of them.Remember the instruction “if a man asks for your shirt,also give him  your coat?” Did you know that some basic supplies can’t be bought from food stamps or  EBT cards?  And I do understand  with  the thought and agree that cigarettes and alcohol should not be purchasable.  Yes, here  is a list of the non food items.  Could you survive with no toilet paper, detergent, tooth paste, tooth brush, paste, and floss, soap, diapers, tampons and pads, deodorant, hair care products and cleaning products?  There is a personal care closet at Concerns-U that is stocked with these items.  There is a place for you to start donating. . . . . to your local pantry.  Every week I am volunteering, there are requests for these items!

Many, many churches, organizations and individuals do volunteer and donate to pantries and give gifts for children at  Christmas.  That is a great and noble work.   But is there more?  President Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, fifty years ago in 1964 and the numbers of homeless and hungry are more today . 48 % of the nation now gets food public assistance.  I think that we as a nation need to throw away the band-aids, research, and  discuss why that is and work to make sure this stops. We are still  the wealthiest  nation on earth and we need to find  changes are needed to help people get on their feet.   There are ideas out there. . . . Rand Paul wants to create economic zones in the cities where many of the poor live to name one.  You can make a difference with your voice and your vote.  If this is a concern for you ask politicians what they think about a “living wage”?  Talk to capitalists and encourage  fairness .  I am not a big President Obama fan, but I do understand and believe as he says, “that someone who is working full time  should not be in abject poverty. . . . . . hungry and unable to provide the basics for his/her family.”

Were you surprised at the faces of the hungry in this video?  There were veterans, families, the elderly, and children not seen who have “food insecurity and /or hunger” right here in the Capital District of New York State.  I can assure you shopping for them in person, which means walking through the pantry as they make their choices ,with some clear guidelines,  will touch your heart.

Don’t just cry over the world of the hungry, but get involved, volunteer, donate, get educated  politically. I remember the student demonstrations in the 60s and 70s where the war in Viet Nam finally came to an end as marches and demonstrations took place all through the country.  It was shocking, uncomfortable, but effective.

Do you remember the story of the Good Samaritan?   We are instructed to “love our neighbor as we love our self.”   Are you loving your neighbor?

 

Post Script:  David was surprised at this professional video produced by the regional food bank. Often we hear after donating to a cause that money is mismanaged and paid to top heavy administrators. Good question. . . The Food Bank will use this video of Concerns-U in fundraising that was the purpose.   It is always very important to  ask questions and research.  

Post post script!  

The video was produced free of charge by The Creative Advantage out of Albany. They periodically donate their services to local charities. This year it happened to be the RFB. The guys were with us for 9 hours filming – then spent hours more editing.   Sent by Katie Bell Powers, Associate Director of Concerns-U 

All those people are real clients – not an actor in the bunch.

 

 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Concerns-U Food Pantry. . . . The Voices and Faces of Hunger

  1. The video was produced free of charge by The Creative Advantage out of Albany. They periodically donate their services to local charities. This year it happened to be the RFB. The guys were with us for 9 hours filming – then spent hours more editing.

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  2. All those people are real clients – not an actor in the bunch.

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  3. We can’t complain – it’s a great video bringing attention to the hunger epidemic. The downside for us is that our name is actually CoNSERNS-U (and acronym). The sign that hangs above our door which is prominent in the video is misspelled. So there you have it….Colleen never had the heart to tell the artist and hung it up anyway…..

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  4. CoNSERNS-U stands for Community Network of Nassau, Schodack, East Greenbush, Rensselaer, Sand Lake – United.

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  5. shaunynews says:

    I wish I could agree when you say “America is still one of the Wealthiest nations on Earth” If this was true half your populous wouldn’t be on Government handouts or Foodbank assistance.
    You made a FANTASTIC point when you asked

    “Do you remember the story of the Good Samaritan? We are instructed to “love our neighbour as we love our self.” Are you loving your neighbour?”

    Brilliant Anne. America is one of the most Religious places on Earth, Country Vs Populous I think the USA is the 2nd biggest nation of Religion after India (I may be wrong) So how can it be a country so devoted to God, so devoted to Israel through God, allow people to go Hungry. Can anyone feel the Irony here? I sure can. I speak to 200 American people (ish) via many Social Media platforms and “Broke” and “Poor” is the constant. It is the one thing I hear most. All but 3 people I speak to from the USA are so poor they can’t afford to go out for a meal, go to the cinema, have a weekend away. In-fact the research I did on this led me to understand well over 65% of Americans live by these poor rules. Cinema, Eating out. Mention Holiday to most Americans and you get laughed at. Sarcasm isn’t lost on people who are so poor their life is “Getting past each day”

    When I said “America is very close to becoming a 2nd World Country” We first must define, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd World Countries. I can name many 2nd World Countries who have better healthcare, better education, higher level of scientists and academic people coming through their education system. More people work with a LIVING WAGE. This is the sad fact many American can see. I am all for helping, but like you say Anne, and you are spot on, is America just applying a Band-Aid/plaster/bandage to a much bigger problem.

    This is one of the best blogs I have read in a LONG time. Sadly it needed more realism. I research VERY HARD on our World. And all I can say to you America is, you are close to 2nd World. Forget poor and rich or comfy for a second, the World is turning away from the Petrodollar. They are not trading Oil in the US Dollar as the entire World did 25/30 years ago. Most of the big countries like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and more trade in other currencies. America at Government level MUST stop being the World Police. I tire (Sorry Anne x) of hearing “But America Saved the World in WWII” NO YOU DID NOT! 400,000 American’s died, 20 MILLION Russians died. It was a Global effort America helped.
    These Days America are making war. The knock on effect from this we see in Foodbanks. Sometimes to see the real picture, the bigger picture we must look other places and ask “Why is that so” America stopped caring for her people around 20 years ago research told me. And foodbanks, 50% of the US Populous on some form of welfare will only get worse.
    So we ask “What will happen when it reaches 75%?” The easy answer is “2nd World Country” If America at Government level can stop policing the World and looking after her people, maybe things can change, but sadly War = Money. Go Google Halliburton for a start!

    Great blog Anne.. x

    http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm

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  6. annetbell says:

    Shaun, thanks for your response. I know this is a subject near and dear to your heart. Thanks for your encouragement.

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