“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” -Maya Angelou
Many of us around the country are anticipating Thursday of next week! Turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, pies, and a large number of other foods we can stuff ourselves with await us on Thanksgiving Day. Not only will many of us be well-fed, many also will have the opportunity to spend time with our loved ones. It’s the perfect combination. With such an exciting event coming up, it can be easy to focus on our plans and not pay attention to the people around us who aren’t as fortunate.
The Hunger Problem
While it may seem hard to believe when considering our developed country, hunger in the United States is a prevalent issue. According to Feeding America, more than 34 million people (including 9 million children are what is called “food insecure.” A lack of consistent access to adequate amounts of food for a healthy lifestyle is known as food insecurity. It’s possible for a family to be in this situation for a short while or for a very long period of time. Unfortunately, the pandemic only exacerbated these problems, particularly for families in rural communities. Systemic issues such as race also play a factor. Lots of these families do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and have to seek their food elsewhere. This is where help from individuals and families can make a large difference.
If you never worry about where your next meal is coming from, take a moment to be thankful! Then, think about what you can do to give back to your community. Everyone’s time and resources vary, but there is always something you can do. Monetary and food donations help keep these charitable organizations such as food banks running. Consider making a donation or creating a food drive in order to help those in need. To find a food bank near you, click here. To find other hunger-related volunteer opportunities, click here. To find out how to support ending hunger through advocacy, click here. You can also help by bringing a meal to a family you know in need.
Be a Friend
Some of us have lucked out with our born and chosen families. Having loved ones to spend time with over the holidays is a luxury that may not occur to you. There are many people out there who have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving and Christmas. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64% of individuals with mental illness feel that holidays make their condition worse. This could be due to a lot of things: loneliness, strained relationships, or seasonal affective disorder just to name a few. No matter what the cause, it is a reoccurring truth in our country that holidays can wear down on mental health.
Helping someone in this area can be delicate. It is a good idea to reach out to people around you. Letting someone know that you care can make a huge difference in their lives. Find out if anyone needs a place to go for holiday events and invite them to attend with you!
Check out Mental Health First Aid for a list of mental health resources!
We at DEPCO challenge you to serve your community and peers this holiday season in whatever way you can!
Discover Culinary Arts with DEPCO!
In this curriculum, students gain knowledge on how to weigh and measure food, properly prepare it, and then present it in a creative way. Students create basic foods using recipes and tools akin to those used by professional chefs as an introduction to this fascinating industry. Students complete recipes for quesadillas, cookies, soup, and even a simple oil and vinegar dressing while using their creativity, weighing and measuring techniques, safety and sanitation standards, and other skills.
To learn more about our Culinary Arts module, click here!