Around four years old my Mom, a single mother, started bringing me to the food shelf with her. You can imagine that a single Mom with three kids in the 1980’s didn’t have a lot of money or resources. So, when I was four years old she started taking me to the food shelf…… to volunteer. I helped my Mom pack bags for other Moms. My Mom knew how tough it was to be a single Mom, but we always had just enough and she wanted us to know how to give out of our own need, and what it felt like to give without asking for anything in return. We volunteered off and on together at different food shelves and soup kitchens until I was about 20 years old.
In Feb 2016, my friend Annette (who I hadn’t seen in at least two years) started a group called Table 4/3. None of us knew each other, but we were all connected through Annette. I have to say it’s the most interesting way I’ve met a group of people, and probably the best way. I think we’ve created a life team of sorts in a very unlikely way. During our most recent dinner, Alex shared that she took a new position with a large food bank and she introduced us to the term Food Insecurity. It was the first time I’d heard the term and I know Annette mentioned in her blog that it was the first time she’d heard it too. When I heard about this food banks new mission I got tears in my eyes. I’m embarrassed to say that it had been so long since I’d even thought about the food shelf.
On this journey of health and wellness that I’ve been on for the past five years I’ve purchased the highest quality foods, and I’ve had the luxury of throwing away disastrous recipes I’ve tried to create that were major fails. And not one time did I think about those Moms who want so badly to give their sweet babies healthy food but can’t afford it. I thought about all of the people who could afford it and needed my help. I thought about all of the people who were inspired by my weight loss and wanted more information from me. I thought about coming up with new ideas for my TV segments. But I didn’t think about those Moms and those kids. The ones like me and my Mom.
At that dinner that night I learned a new term. Food Insecurity – It’s “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” It’s what I teach!! I teach people how to get the nutrients they need!! But not the Moms like my Mom. Not the kids like we were. The ones who have just enough. I don’t teach them. I teach people who have enough.
I know I’m fortunate because my Mom always shopped in the fresh food isles first, and she cooked a lot of food from scratch. She was fortunate because she knew how to stretch a dollar using fresh foods. Not everyone knows how to do that, and quite frankly convenience foods have made it easy for us to not cook, or learn how to for that matter.
Here’s the deal. Everything I’ve ever started, I’ve started not knowing the how’s. And the same is true for this. I’m going to ask you at some point to link arms with me and join me on this journey to help Moms, Dads and kids who have just enough, or not enough.