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COMMUNITY VOICE

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week great time to help

Friday, November 15, 2013 - 12:01 am

The Thanksgiving holiday season is upon us and with it comes a sense of thankfulness for the blessings in our lives.

Most of us would say we are thankful for our family and friends, our home and health, our job, etc.

But there is a part of the community whose response would be much different; many who are served by Associated Churches would say they are thankful to those who donate their time, talent, and treasure to help those in need.

And it seems there are increasing numbers of people in need, particularly now that the federal government has made cuts to the food stamp program. Most of us could deal with an $11 cut in our grocery budget without much effect, but for many people this food stamp cut will mean a greater hardship that will present awful choices.

Perhaps it means one gallon of milk for the kids instead of two and no fresh vegetables whatsoever. For many, it will mean turning to the Associated Churches Food Pantry or a soup kitchen by the middle of the month, rather than at the end.

Yes, the need to provide emergency food relief is greater than ever. An average of about 3,000 Allen County families access Associated Churches Neighborhood Food Network each month, and last year 1.4 million meals were given out to local families.

There are people who are hurting in our community and I’m so thankful for the volunteers and generous spirit of this community. With the cuts in government aid to families, the draw on our food bank will be substantial, and I want to encourage you to be diligent in caring for the poor, the vulnerable and disenfranchised. Regardless of our country’s economic transitions, you will be blessed.

The National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week from today through Nov. 24 is the perfect time to make a difference for those experiencing difficulties. So how can you help in this time of great need? Donate your time, talent and treasure.

A great way to do this is at the annual WLDE 101.7 Stuff-a-Bus campaign from Nov. 18-20. You can bring nonperishable goods as well as over-the-counter medicine to any one of the three locations from 5:30 a.m.- 7 p.m. Buses will be stationed at Georgetown Square, Pine Valley in front of Rustic Hutch and Midwest America Federal Credit Union on Bluffton Road. WLDE will be broadcasting live from the Georgetown location daily. All food donations will go to the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County Food Network.

Volunteers are also needed to man the buses and collect food. If interested, contact Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County at (260) 422-3528.

You can be the blessing in someone’s life this holiday season. For more information on ways to share your time, talent and treasure with Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allen County, contact the number above or visit the Website at www.AssociatedChurches.Org.

Pastor Roger Reece is with the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County Neighborhood Food Network.