After the Dust Has Settled

It’s the day after the big Food Bank Chef’s Feast and while I cleaned the house today and got back to the unexciting life of not having a captive audience to talk to, I reflected on last night. I had so many interesting conversations with people who came to support the Food Bank, hear Vivian Howard and eat some damn good food. Along the way they learned a little bit about our mission and opened their hearts and checkbooks.

As I was dusting I remembered one conversation in particular. Right after I came off the stage at the end a young woman came up and said, “I just want to meet you and say thank you,” and tears started streaming down her face.

“I am sorry, I don’t mean to be crying.”

I put my hand on her shoulder and told it was alright. “Tell me your story.”

She told me that she had been a teacher and that she knew so well that many of her students were always hungry. “Thank you for telling these people about the kids. People just don’t know what it is like for them.”

I asked her name, which of course in my old age I can’t remember now, but I gave her a hug and thanked her for coming and telling me her story. The pain of being with children who, through no fault of their own, are hungry had stayed with her. She no longer is a teacher, but she has a kind of PSTD from that part of her life. She ended our talk by thanking me again and again for the work the Food Bank does.

It is humbling for me to be thanked, when I am just one of the thousands of volunteers who aid the hard working staff. It truly is the greatest honor in my life.

I got a message from the powers that be that we raised over $134,000 last night. More than just the money, it was great to spread the message about hunger and how prevalent it is in our community.

As I watched the president on TV today talking about the billions of dollars in the new budget for defense, tanks, submarines, planes and the such I was saddened that he had not word to say about how we might spend our tax dollars feeding children or any of the other things that go towards a brighter future.

I see that my work will never be done until everyone in North Carolina has a job with a living wage and can buy their own food.

Just as I am writing this some flowers arrived as a thank you for last night. They are beautiful, but please don’t send me flowers, feed the children.

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