Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time of joyful celebration, yet also a time for reflection. As the holiday season approaches, we reflect with gratitude on our blessings and look forward to time with beloved family and friends. It’s also a good time to think about those who are less fortunate and how you can be of assistance to those in need.

We are grateful for your past assistance, but I must be honest: We have already seen a decline in charitable giving after the new tax laws limited charitable deductions, but the number of hungry neighbors has not declined.

While the economy has improved and more people are working, those paychecks are often not enough to cover household expenses. I frequently talk about the “faces of hunger,” but those faces are changing. The under-employed or “working poor” are far more likely to be in line for food than ever before. Their work may even have led to the unintended consequence of putting a family in more financial peril as income rises just past the level of eligibility for SNAP or other assistance programs.

Now, more than ever, please keep those Gleaners serves in your hearts for end of year giving.

Children from these families may be struggling in ways we can hardly imagine. At the recent IBJ Power Breakfast on Hunger and Health, Dr. Deanna Reinoso from the Pecar Health Clinic told the story of a 12 year old girl who had been referred to her for a suspected eating disorder:

“The girl’s teacher referred her to the clinic because she was worried that she had an eating disorder. She noticed at lunchtime, the child would put her uneaten lunch in her backpack. When she got to the clinic, I talked to her about her eating habits and quickly learned that she had a little brother at home and that there was not enough food for the family.”

Thankfully, the Crooked Creek Food Pantry – one of the more than 250 partner organizations we support throughout our 21 county service area – was right next door to the clinic. Immediate help was available for this child and her family.

As we enter the holiday and winter months, more families will come to us for assistance. We rely on the generosity of donors like you to make a direct and lasting impact in the lives of those we serve, including children like the girl cared for by Dr. Reinoso.

Without the support of you and other committed hunger advocates, we simply cannot do our job. Please consider your most generous gift possible this year to help lift these families who so desperately need a hand up as they work to create a better life for themselves and a better future for their children.

With thanks,

John Elliott

P.S. You have instant impact on families, children, veterans and seniors.  During this season of change and sharing, our most vulnerable neighbors know they can count on Gleaners – because you step up to help!