Did you know that over 36 million people – including 13 million children – experience hunger or the risk of hunger in the United States? That means that more than one in ten households in your community are having difficulty putting food on their table or in their bellies each day.
Some of those people may be obvious to you, like the homeless man or woman sitting outside your local grocery store. But many other people may be less obvious – your neighbors, or children who attend your child’s school. I’m always glad to see the people who come to our church to share in our Wednesday night supper. They get a hot meal and caring conversation, both of which go a long way toward restoring energy and dignity.
Hunger is a large, complex social issue. We won’t solve it today. But we can offer comfort, care and nourishment individually, or as part of a volunteer effort. That can include donating canned and boxed items to a food bank, or volunteering to cook or serve meals in a soup kitchen or shelter. Some people have been known to fix a bunch of sack lunches and give them out to the homeless people they see on their way to work.
Hunger or poverty doesn’t always have to be the reason to share a meal. Maybe you know of someone who is spending the holidays alone, and would appreciate an invitation to Christmas dinner. Perhaps there is an elderly neighbor down the street or a friend who just had surgery or a baby who might like a simple meal or two that can easily be heated up.
However you choose to give and share a meal, do so with love.
Feel free to share your experience or your creative suggestions. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, share using the #24daysofgiving hashtag. Let’s spread some love and good cheer!
Did you miss a day?
Day 1: Give yourself 5 minutes
Day 2: Give someone your attention
Day 3: Give time to a worthy cause
Day 4: Give someone a helping hand
Day 5: Give a cup of coffee or tea
Day 6: Give 3 words of love
Day 7: Give a handwritten note
Day 8: Give hugs
Day 9: Give blessings
Day 13: Give a nice greeting
Day 14: Give yourself a day off
Day 15: Give words of encouragement
Day 16: Give in to wonderment
Day 17: Give your light to others
#24daysofgiving is an Advent experiment in being called to come into being through the practices of love and compassion, while reflecting on the coming of Christ into the world.