The reminders about hunger continue…
A good friend of mine Steve Buczkowski just returned last week from leading a short-term mission trip to New York. He has led various trips organized thru New York City Relief. This group feeds people on the streets of NYC 48 weekends a year. Steve has a passion for the hungry. He’s also the board chair for Circle City Relief which is our own Indy version of NYC Relief.
This summer after returning from Haiti, our 20-person team did a KidsAgainstHunger event (like the photo below) to pack more food for Nehemiah Vision Ministries directly. Nehemiah is the one feeding, schooling, and supporting Franzy (the boy in Haiti seen in my previous blog). This shot below is actually a photo from the year before (2011) where I coordinated a Kids Against Hunger event with colleagues at Delivra. This was in the basement of Lucas Oil Stadium and sponsored by Peyton Manning.
Shortly after my Haiti team 2012 event our church did a Hunger Challenge. We were asked to eat for rice and beans for a week which is what much of the global hungry eat 24-7 365. And, we had another week where we were limited to spending the equivalent of a food stamps budget. That is not easy.
In the 2012 movie Hunger Games (spoiler alert!) their cruel version of our Olympiad pits people from different caste societies (“Districts”) in their nation (Panem) against each other and one lone winner prevails, the losers all die. The hero (Katniss) in the film comes from the poorest section of the country (District 12). She’s crafty much because she needs to hunt for food on a daily basis. In this movie it portrays that hunger problems are likely only within those poorer districts.
On our planet there is “extreme poverty” like portions of Haiti. Extreme poverty is living on less than $1.25 per day (includes 1.1 billion people–Source: The End of Poverty, J. Sachs). The U.S. government defines the “poverty line” in America as family of 4 making less than $23,050 (single individual is $11,170). In neighborhoods like where Shepherd Community Center and Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center serve most of their community is below that line. According to Mary Rigg, 95% of their neighbors seeking help “have a negative net-worth”. Many often having medical bills they cannot ever pay back. Mary Rigg is about 2 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium. In comparison to those in extreme poverty, you have it pretty nice near the poverty line in America. You deal with hunger but won’t likely die of it like is all too common in extreme poverty.
To my Grace friends, make sure you keep filling the green food bags! My wife Kitty is always very conscientious for us. I’m good at connecting these charities to places of great resource. But she’s great at actually dropping food off each week. Despite being over 40 she’s new to couponing. She now gets very excited when she can get some amazing deals (in her opinion) and will often buy stuff like toothpaste, boxes of Cheerios, canned soup (even sometimes at CVS) and donate many of those deals to these green bags.
So I’m getting the message loud and clear. Are you?
If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself, you shall maintain him.