The face of hunger in the community is far more familiar than we’d like to acknowledge.
That’s not because it matches the stereotypical image of a homeless street person in need of food, but rather because it does not.
The hungry in our neighborhoods look like our neighbors, because they are our neighbors. They’ve had a run of bad luck, or an unexpected expense when they already were pinching pennies to get by.
Even in seemingly affluent suburbs, people are having to make tough decisions about whether to pay an unforeseen medical cost, a car repair payment or to feed their families before themselves.
Some are working multiple jobs just to ensure they can take care of the bare necessities such as rent and utilities.
The numbers of those in need of food are up, especially during the summer months when children aren’t regularly receiving free or reduced price breakfast and lunch at school. Area food banks are working to reach new groups of people that may not normally receive their services.
Thankfully, there are a number of organizations working to help ease that burden right here in our own backyard.
People like Suzy Domingo with Interfaith Caring Ministries, who helps people when they’re down on their luck, and Sheila Thorne with Garden Kids of Kemah, who helps to educate children on healthy eating habits.
It’s people like that who help battle this growing issue.
They remind us that even if we can’t see it, some of our neighbors are struggling, which is why our donations of supplies and time to these organizations that provide food, one-time bill payment assistance and food pantries, is vital.
We can’t keep telling ourselves that hunger isn’t an issue in our area simply because all of the surrounding communities are booming with prosperity. Our problem might be harder to see, but it is just as much a challenge to fight.