line in the sand

Hunger Matters.

Editor’s note: This was written originally by a friend co-laboring down in Indianapolis, who first posted it to her personal blog. We are grateful she was willing to let us re-share these words with you.

From author: My name is Molly. I am an advocate. For the poor, for my children, and for a faith that is well-represented. Advocacy has taken on many different forms for me over the years. Currently I run a food pantry on the east side of Indianapolis that provides food to over 1,200 families each month. I used to think I was called to serve those living in poverty, but over the past few years I’ve learned that’s just one piece of it. I believe part of my calling is to equip and empower others to do the same.

It is early morning and the sun is just beginning to wake. That first drink of coffee warms my lips, warms my inside. I kiss my children goodbye, the two hour delay leaving them home, snuggled on the couch this bitter January day. I zip my coat, tighten my scarf and head for work. On the radio they talk about subzero temperatures and snow delays, make jokes about how it’s too cold to leave the house even for the kids to go sledding. But when I arrive at the Food Pantry, an hour and a half before we open, I find plenty of people that have already left the house. I find some waiting in their cars, others peering through the windows to see what’s inside. One comes out from around back, probably checking to see if we’ve set anything salvageable out for the trash.

We will serve two hundred families that day. Many will come in under dressed for the weather. Some will wait at the bus stop for a ride. Others will even walk. For many of our families, our waiting room will be the warmest place they sit all day. They will wait patiently with their children for their turn to shop. Wait patiently with their infants. There is an older man that catches my eye. He nearly falls coming up to the counter, tripping over his own feet. He talks to me about his arthritis as he holds up a shaky hand with a cane. Smiles warmly and says, ‘Thank You,’ as he moves slowly toward the shopping carts. I will lose count that day of the number of people that say, ‘Thank You.’

Each person that comes through the pantry line has a story that has brought them to this place of great need. Sometimes the need is so deep and so real that you can see it on them the moment they walk in. There is a heaviness they carry. A certain sadness that hovers over them as they speak. A quiet desperation in their eyes.

The truth is we all hunger for something. Continue reading

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Operation: Turkey Delivery

Op. Turkey Delivery

We don’t have to be thankful for all things. We can, however, be thankful in all things.

Imagine the conversation: “Hey. Don’t worry about preparing ANY food for Thanksgiving this year. We’ve got you covered..”

On Saturday, I contacted the five families that were chosen for a complimentary, gourmet Thanksgiving meal provided by the Gilmore Collection.

Having the experience of giving these families the news felt surreal. The responses were a mix of shock and gratitude, followed by a tremendous sense of happiness and relief about not having to worry about the big meal this Thursday. Here are the redacted versions of the stories:

First Family

[Mom] and [Dad] have two young children. [Oldest daughter] has been battling brain cancer since she was a couple months old. They have to live in their mother’s basement because finances are tight.  [Dad] lost his job this past year because of absenteeism to be with her during treatments.

Second Family

Mom and Dad have adopted >6 kids out of foster care in the past three years. While they do have food in the fridge, it is always an ordeal to cook for a big family. I know that this would bless them substantially, in order to just BE together for a meal, no stress about prepping. Mom suffers from fibromyalgia and it flares up in the winter. They just have a ton on their plate, and are so worth blessing the heck out of.
Continue reading

Enrich the lives of those you talk to

Conversation “diggers”

 

This weekend you might be spending time sharing meals with family or friends. We’ve shared that one of our favorite parts is the conversations that take place between nibbles. We’ve all had that meal or drink with someone that could’ve gone on all night, and it’s not because of the food. But what about when it’s not like that?

What about those meals filled with awkward pauses, glances at phones, observances of the clinks of silverware around the room? How do you turn these conversations around, and in doing so, serve the person you’re talking to?

We’ve been studying this question for awhile now. Powerful questions spur meaningful conversations. We started with 40 solid ones, but have since boiled it down to the best five. Listed from less to more adventurous—

 

Continue reading

Currey’s Corner: Food Matters

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What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had in your life?

“Food matters.”
Think back. Can you remember the most meaningful meal you’ve had in your life?
Was it last Friday night? 🙂 I recently went back home to Alaska. Since coming back to GR, everyone’s been asking, “How was your trip?!” I tell ‘em funny stories, and how I met my very first niece, Grace. How I saw so many people I love, lots of mountains and moose, and said goodbye to my childhood home. But what I don’t say, and don’t really know how to say, is that the majority of my trip simply revolved around a table. Dinners with extended family, potlucks with friends, coffee dates, catching up with grandparents, or just eating a bowl of cereal in the morn. This is where life happens for me. Let me give you an example…

At the peak of a mountain, on a ski date with my Dad, what I thought would be a quick stop for a bite to eat, turned out to be a meal I will remember forever. We were both doing something we loved in skiing and knew we had to grab food at some point. Now, we could have scarfed down a cheap burger and been back on the slopes in 10 minutes. But Dad had something else in mind. He gave me one of the nicest meals of my life. It meant so much to me, and it meant so much to him. We unbuckled our boots, and slowed down to share a meal. The food was amazing, but what I will remember most is the conversation and the love that I felt. We talked about the future, asked good questions, made jokes, and reminisced about good times. And—we still got in 5 more runs in anyway.

 

Our Goal 2/8—2/14

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You more than DOUBLED last week’s goal. We’re in awe. All vouchers back-in-stock now.

 

 

An author I’ve had the pleasure to meet is Shauna Niequist, of “Bread and Wine”. In urging attention to the importance of food, she writes, “Food is a language of care, the thing we do when language fails us, when we don’t know what to say, when there are no words TO say… It’s the thing that connects us, that bears our traditions, our sense of home and family, our deepest memories. Food matters.” I agree wholeheartedly.

When I think about the still-new 2014 and what I want it to be a year of, I think of life around the table with old friends, with new friends, with celebration and with consolation, with costumes and in PJ’s. I think of 2014 and I think of making a difference in someone’s life—meeting tangible needs. I love that our app is found at the intersection of these.

So—in the midst of your hustling schedule, when you want to leave your ski boots buckled and scarf down a hamburger in your car on the way to the next run, press pause and remember that food really does matter.

 

Hi there!

My name is Rebecca Currey and I am an avid food-lover! I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a foodie, because I don’t have a lot of expertise to offer; rather, I am enthralled by the ability of food to bring people together. FoodCircles celebrates this fact and couples it with feeding kids in need. This is a win-win in my book! I am an adventurer who hails from the awesome state of Alaska, pursuing my masters and exploring the great city of Grand Rapids in my free time. I love to laugh, chat over coffee, meet new people and eat food! I have the absolute pleasure of chronicling some of my thoughts about the significance of gathering around a table. So pull up a seat, the table is set and there is a spot just for you —

Currey’s Corner: More than a Meal

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What is it about food that helps us truly be seen?

“Do you have plans for dinner?”
Food has significance beyond being life-sustaining. Now most folks fall somewhere on the range of having a love/hate relationship with meal prep, but one thing that we can all agree on is that food brings people together. Recently in my life and in the lives of my “home team”, there has been a lot of “tough” and a lot of “hard.” Have you felt the same?

Friends have been experiencing heartbreaks, moving away, loved ones dying, loneliness, even depression. It’s been a lot. In these moments I find myself searching for words to comfort and ease the pain; sometimes I am at a loss. Walking through a tough circumstance in my own life, I found the most helpful response from a friend to be, “….do you have plans for dinner?”

On another circumstance, a friend on a whim invited four friends over for pizza and to my surprise, each of the woman opened up about deep pain they were experiencing. I had seen these women many times over the past few weeks and had NO INKLING that they had been going through what their words were saying. What is it about food? What is it about being around a table with people that opens up the door for vulnerability?

 

THIS WEEK’S GOAL

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San Chez and Peppino’s are already sold out this week! Try a #bofo special.

 

 

I think it’s a step away from the screens we stare at all day and an opportunity to see the face we see on Facebook, face-to-face. In our world of “140 characters or less” and posting things for thousands to see, I’ve discovered what happens around a table to be unique and refreshing.

Slowing down and looking someone in the eye and asking, “How are you? No really, how are you?” with no excuse of simply saying, “Fine, how are you,” we are invited to truly be seen (an often scary thought). This is one of the most important things we can do around a table: 1) invite others 2) be seen for exactly who we are.

So next time when you’re small-talking with a friend about the good, the bad and the ugly, why not ask the question, “Do you have plans for dinner?”

 

 
Hi there!

My name is Rebecca Currey and I am an avid food-lover! I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a foodie, because I don’t have a lot of expertise to offer; rather, I am enthralled by the ability of food to bring people together. FoodCircles celebrates this fact and couples it with feeding kids in need. This is a win-win in my book! I am an adventurer who hails from the awesome state of Alaska, pursuing my masters and exploring the great city of Grand Rapids in my free time. I love to laugh, chat over coffee, meet new people and eat food! I have the absolute pleasure of chronicling some of my thoughts about the significance of gathering around a table. So pull up a seat, the table is set and there is a spot just for you —