Thanksgiving is our yearly reminder to express some gratitude for the gifts in our lives, from our loved ones to the roof over our heads and the food on our tables. Every day of the year we have a lot to be thankful for, and often we go through our days not noticing the little things that make our lives comfortable: clean socks, a consistent paycheck, gas for our cars, heat in our house, and much more.
While we may not spend our days thinking of those small comforts, others in our community spend every day wondering if they will have enough food to put on the table for dinner and others don’t even know if they will be able to stay warm at night with no home to go to.
Before Thanksgiving comes around, there is a week set aside to take action toward the hunger and homelessness in our community. In 2021, November 13th to the 21st is Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week. This is another yearly reminder to remember and help support your neighbors who may be struggling with hunger and/or homelessness. In Kentucky, one in seven people are food insecure (Source: Feeding America- https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/kentucky). As you go about your day, you have more than likely interacted with someone in need of a meal. Further, while it may not be every day you interact with an individual struggling with homelessness, chances are you have interacted with someone who is currently struggling to pay their rent.
Volunteering at soup kitchens and donating socks are tremendously helpful to our neighbors, but we can go beyond simple charity and learn more about the roots of these problems and how we can make sustainable changes in our communities. The hope is for every Kentuckian to have a roof above their head and a meal on their table for Thanksgiving, with no worry where their next meal will come from.
Learn more about Hunger and Homelessness awareness week at https://hhweek.org/
Consider donating or volunteering at a local food pantry such as Be Concerned (https://beconcerned.org/)
Are you struggling with food insecurity? Check to see if you qualify for food assistance in Kentucky with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dcbs/dfs/nab/Pages/snap.aspx
Some Additional Online Resources:
Written by Stella Childress, Library Associate