#StacktoSackHunger : Shame around food insecurity

Back during the dark times in 1993, I went through a rough year struggling to put food on the table. I worked at a school where there was a lunch program and we could pay $5 a week for a hot lunch. It was a struggle for me to pay that, but that was usually the only hot meal I got that day. I would go home to my jar of mustard. The kitchen staff would sneak leftovers home with me or save the ugly bread and kitchen scraps for me to have at home. On Fridays I would drive to my mom’s house and have a really great meal. Often I would stay the night, eat breakfast and lunch before I would go to my grandma’s for a visit. If I was lucky – she would also feed me dinner.

I didn’t tell anyone I was this poor. It was embarrassing and shameful. I never even admitted it to my family, but obviously they knew.

Since then, I have been super sensitive and aware of what people eat. I have a food disorder around that now. I watch what people eat, I listen to their silent struggle and I feel the shame they are experiencing. It’s as if poverty is the owner’s fault. We all make choices that result in consequence. None of us have a crystal ball to see where that choice will take us. Some of us are lucky and some of us are not. I make it a priority to help where I can now because for the grace of God go I…

This year I have been extraordinarily fortunate. When the lock down came, I was sent home armed with technology that afforded me to continue my work and keep receiving a paycheck without any reductions. I watch friends and family lose their jobs, worry about keeping a roof over their heads and struggle to keep food in the mouths of their children leaving them – the parent last on the list.

There is a food challenge going around. #StacktoSackHunger. The premise is to take the food you stashed away in the spring when the supply chain was uncertain, stack it and share it on your social channels, then take that food and donate to your local food bank. The Alberta Motor Association has made it easier for us by setting up donation bins at every one of their locations across the province. They have even set up an online portal to donate monetary funds that go directly to the food bank of your choice. I have chosen to do both. #StacktoSackHunger and donate money because $1 = $5 worth of food to a food bank.

This is my stack and a rare selfie of the Edmonton Tourist

Plus I am donating money to FillOurFleet.ca because I am all about Albertans helping Albertans. When you are hungry, you cannot think about much else. Do your neighbour a solid and give this year. I hope you are happy and healthy this year. If you need help please reach out because people actually want to help – there is no shame in letting them.

Stay healthy friends.