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Healing the World through Food

Posted: March 30, 2015

I received a beautiful banner from Lynda Mader that says, “Heal the World… Cook Dinner Tonight.” It is hanging outside of my office. As I have reflected on the words, I have thought of how powerful a meal is when shared with family, friends, neighbors or colleagues. You can always feel the energy when food is prepared with love.

When I was a child, I remember going to my grandparent’s house for Sunday dinners. The table was set with a beautiful pressed linen, china and silver. My grandmother loved to cook and bake. There was usually a ham dinner with all of the trimmings and a pie or a cake made from scratch. It always felt like a special occasion. We were always expected to be on our best behavior at those meals, with six children in the mix there were never any guarantees…

I don’t think many people gather for Sunday dinner any more. Schedules are busy and children’s activities often consume the weekends. I think we have lost something collectively. Making time to create a meal and gather around the table with people who mean so much to you is a tradition worth considering, even if it is only a couple of times a week.

Perhaps we skip all of the formalities, but carve out time to gather for a meal without television or electronics. It’s a sacred moment. Eating meals with our families makes us stronger and creates touch points. It also builds stronger communities. If you are like me, some of our children are not living at home. At dinner time, there may only be a couple of us. Your family may live out of town, so for you it may be a gathering of friends or neighbors.

But, I think regardless of how busy our day is it is wonderful to share a meal with our families. When my children were in the thick of sports, I used to refer to the time we ate dinner as, “European time,” because it was often late in the evening.

During March we ask you not only to reflect on the value of family meal times, but also to consider the whole ecosystem of food starting with the growers, drivers, grocers to those who prepare and serve it to us. Ironically, many of those who prepare and serve food do not earn enough money to put food on their own table and must rely on food pantries to bridge the gaps.

The most recent data shows that one in five families is, “food insecure”… It is a word used to describe scarcity. Many families are skipping meals or eating less. In a country that has so much abundance, we must ask why so many are going hungry. It’s like standing knee deep in water and being thirsty.

We ask you to continue to generously support the St. Patrick’s Day VEAP Food Drive. We have the power to change this situation by contacting our legislators and asking them to consider poor families this session. Phone calls, letters and emails make a difference! Thank you for your on-going support for our work to reduce poverty and to make sure that everyone has food on the table when they gather with their family!

                        Maura Schnorbach