Remember the hungry during this holiday season.
Poverty and hunger should always be on our minds, but the holiday season, now personified by consumerism, commercialism, gluttony and excess for the masses — rather than the spirit of community and gratefulness for the blessings we’ve been given, with Thanksgiving, and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas — is a particularly trying time for people who face a daily struggle to put food on the table for their families. They see the same things we all do — idealized pictures in advertisements of families with plenty of food, without a care in the world. And they also are aware that scene isn’t going to play out the same way in their lives.
The commercial vision of the holidays is not reality for many of our neighbors in Lincoln County. Unemployment figures released last week by the North Carolina Department of Commerce reveal that the state’s unemployment rate for October was 8 percent, against a national average of 7.3 percent. That number has been steadily declining, if you trust the statistics, but joblessness at any level and poverty and hunger go hand-in-hand.
Whatever the situation, no family should have to go hungry during the holidays. We urge our readers to check with local food banks and find out what the need is. One or two food items picked up on a weekly grocery shopping trip could make all the difference for one of your neighbors. Our local churches are always putting food drives together, and could surely use volunteers.
We cannot sit idly by and depend on public assistance programs and the good deeds of others to alleviate the problem of hunger in our community. If every person who read this gave one food item or one hour of his or her time to solving this issue, it might not be fixed entirely, but it would be a good start.