There are two things that amaze me about hunger in our region.
One is the magnitude of the need. Washington, D.C. has the nation's second highest rate of food insecurity among children. One in three children in Washington, D.C. lives in a home where there simply is not enough food for them to eat. That means they go to bed hungry. They wake up hungry. They go to school hungry.
The other is how there are still some people who just don't understand the face of hunger -- who hunger really affects.
You would think that with relentless economic uncertainty in the news, and the common knowledge that our economy has been taking a beating, that stereotypes would be broken. But the truth of the matter is, a lot of people think that if someone is hungry, it is because they are homeless, lazy or don't work hard enough. That couldn't be farther from the truth.
Those suffering from hunger today are working full-time jobs and yet still can't make ends meet because of frozen salaries, high rent, and entire families to feed. These people are earning an income -- they're working hard! They're just not getting a break.
That's the bad news, the sad reality. And trust me, in the news business, we have enough of that.
The annual Stuff-A-Truck event, however, changes all of that for me -- both in tone, and in outcome. It's an awesome, positive, feel-good event that produces incredible results.
Members of the community who come out to the different Giant stores to give food or funds are amazing. They give their time, they give their money -- and they give their heart. I say that because I meet people who count their blessings and in turn hope to bless someone else in need.
Kids helping kids
Every year, a group of adorable children pulls into the Giant store parking lot in their school bus, streaming out with their bagged donations in hand. They are from Beverly Farms, part of the Montgomery Child Care Association.
When I see them, and how generous and thankful their little hearts are, it reminds me that we should ALL be giving, even just a little.
Sometimes I worry that people figure that if they can't give a lot, then they just won't give at all. But that's not true. After all, when you calculate that a $1 donation translates into almost three meals, any amount you can share makes a big difference.
If you watch me reporting every morning on the early shift for Fox5 Morning News, you know just how much I appreciate my coffee -- I am always referring to it because it helps me wake up at 3 a.m.!
And yet, I often remind myself that if everyone skipped just one $4 cup of coffee, and donated that indulgence to the Capital Area Food Bank, that small gesture would provide well over ten meals for those in need.
The Capital Area Food Bank feeds 500,000 neighbors every year who struggle to meet their basic needs for food.
I'm looking forward to the Stuff-A-Truck event on Friday, December 13 because I get to encourage others to help make someone's day just a little easier. And that warms my heart.