As we stood by our Food for All display in front of a market in Costa Mesa last week trying to encourage participation in Food for All by raising awareness of hunger, a poignant encounter took place. A young woman showed interest in our information.
The young woman commented that she hoped people would help soon because she was looking for a place to find food on Saturday and Sunday. She told us she was homeless, living in some bushes near a building, and had recently had a baby.
Suddenly this young mother was no longer a statistic to us, but a real person with hurting eyes and an immediate problem of finding diapers and food on the weekend, when most emergency feeding programs are shut down. We felt a little better that at least we were able to tell her our church was preparing a dinner at the Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter that evening. One meal would help, but her problem remains.
This young woman is only one of the thousands who do not have a decent shelter at night, and who, with her baby, is in need of food and help. With all the rich blessings that many in Orange County enjoy, it is time for us as a society to open our hearts.
Since 1987, Food for All has funded 16 agencies in Orange County who help the hungry, with a total of $49,250 (a figure which is close to the median income of just one Orange County household). While these contributions have helped, when you consider our population of more than 2 million, it does seem we have the potential for more giving to help the 360,000 who are at daily risk of not having enough to eat.