“I just don’t get it. The economy is booming. The stock market continues to increase. Unemployment is at an all-time low. But I hear that more and more people are at risk for going hungry. How is this possible? I just don’t get it.
This was part of a recent conversation which I had with a friend, and the question is valid. In fact, at the food bank, we get asked this same question often. While many are doing well financially, far too many of our friends and neighbors seem to have been left behind as the recovery took place after the Great Recession. Every day we meet people who have done everything right: paying their bills on time, not taking on unnecessary debt and not buying things they don’t need. Nearly 50 percent of the people we serve have jobs, are educated, have insurance, but are not making enough to pay all their bills. They have had to use their savings for living expenses for themselves and their families. All it takes is one unexpected event—a broken down car, an illness, an unexpected repair for the house—and the family is thrown into a crisis. More and more, this is the client we serve.
The good news is that we are seeing fewer and fewer people who need our support long term. Rather, we are serving individuals and families who need our help until they are back on their feet financially, often four to six months. We have seen our volunteers and even some of our donors who have found themselves needing to turn to us for temporary help. But that is exactly what we are here for: to help those in need and at risk for going hungry. That is what the community has come to expect from Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) since 1981, and that is what we do every day.
Hopefully, this will help to explain what we do and why the need continues. The team at GLFB is dedicated to making certain that no one will go hungry in our community. This is what caring communities do, and it’s only because of you that we are we able to get food to all those at risk for being hungry.
On behalf of those we serve, thank you for your support. Wishing everyone a safe and joyous holiday season from the entire team at GLFB.