You don’t have to look too hard to see that we are getting closer to the Christmas season. It seems as though we go from Back to School to a brief lay over at Halloween and then, boom Christmas. Retail and marketing professionals don’t really put too many advertising dollars into Thanksgiving. Why should they? Everyone goes to the grocery store, you were going to eat lunch/dinner on Thursday the 27th even if it wasn’t a holiday… so why put money into advertising things you are going to buy anyways?
Did you know that 60% of the United States population is food insecure? The USDA defines being food insecure as, “lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” According to the New Hampshire Food Bank 1 in 9 individuals are food insecure in NH. It is tough to tell who is food insecure in our society, it isn’t like people sit around the lunch table at work and say “I’m eating this for the 3rd day in a row because we couldn’t afford to go grocery shopping.” Or “I’m skipping lunch today not because I’m busy but because we didn’t have anything in the fridge today.” There are also 44,000 children who are food insecure in New Hampshire. Some children eat a healthy lunch at school on Friday and then don’t really eat a satisfying meal again until lunch on Monday. These could be your neighbors, your kid’s friends… you sometimes just don’t know.
This is the time of year when we should turn our lens on issues like hunger, poverty, charity, and faith. The airwaves are no longer filled with negative political ads those who sought office have won or lost. Now it is time for our elected officials to start leading again, not just promising that they will. Programs like the New Hampshire Food bank, the Salvation Army etc. need to be championed and promoted. Hopefully through this blog post I am doing my part.
If you have the opportunity and ability to donate time or money to one of these programs now, I encourage you to do so. If you are walking by the bell ringers at the mall stop, say hi, put a few coins in. If you have children it should be a “teachable moment”, explain why you are giving the coins to those who need help.
The spirit of New Hampshire is one that I believe to be, love thy neighbor. This is one of the best parts about living/working and raising a family in New Hampshire. As you begin to make holiday preparations, be thankful for the gifts you have. If you have the means to give another family those same gifts, the rewards you will discover are more valuable than you could have ever imagined.