Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Food for Thought: Stand Against Hunger, 9/1, 5 p.m. downtown

Food wasteImage by ★keaggy.com via Flickr
UPDATE: Instructions for tonight:

Please ask people to join our line on the West side of Liberty Street between Court and Chemeketa by 5:00 p.m. We are asking our volunteers to wear red or orange if possible, not only for Women Ending Hunger, but to make the line as visible as possible. They may bring their own empty plates (paper is fine) or our block captain will have some extra to share.

The plan is to stand for 20 minutes, then people can either go home to supper or head on downtown for all of the First Wednesday festivities. As part of FOOD FOR THOUGHT, Women Ending Hunger will also be hosting a reception and silent auction from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in a temporary gallery space on the lower level of Salem Center mall near Nordstrom’s. Several area artists have donated beautiful art plates that we will auction to benefit Marion-Polk Food Share. Come and enjoy some light refreshments and the art if you have the time.

Thanks again. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you there!

Kat Daniel
Community Partnerships, Women Ending Hunger
503.581.3855 x322
1660 Salem Industrial Drive NE, Salem OR 97301

Dear Friends and Neighbors in Salem,

My name is Kat Daniel and my job is ending hunger as one of the two Community Partnerships/Volunteer Program managers at Marion-Polk Food Share. It is also my privilege to be the “champion” for the Food Share’s auxiliary program, WOMEN ENDING HUNGER. For those of you who may not be familiar with that organization, we are a grassroots movement of women—and men—committed to “serving as catalysts of social change, working together with all to end hunger by engaging, educating, and empowering our community.”

Nothing is more deserving of our attention than the fact that we have 37,000 children in Marion and Polk counties who may be relying on their free or reduced-price lunches at school as their only full, healthy meal of the day. When we relate that fact as we are talking with family, friends, and neighbors, we find that most of them can’t believe that hungry is as rampant as that, right here where we live. We are not talking about Africa or Indonesia. We are talking about Salem, Keizer, Stayton, Jefferson, Scotts Mills, Detroit, Idana, Gervais, St. Paul, Woodburn, and every other community in our two-county footprint. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what childhood hunger means in terms of a child’s ability to succeed in his or her life. Doesn’t every child deserve the best chance at life that we can give them?

We feel like this is a message that we need to shout from the rooftops: 37,000 hungry children is 37,000 too many. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

You’ll see from the reverse side of this message, that we are determined to do ONE thing to get the message across: on Wednesday, September 1, from 5:00-5:20 p.m. we propose to create a line of empty plates from the State Capitol through six blocks of downtown Salem to show Salem, at least, what 37,000 children look like. Okay, we won’t exactly have 37,000 people standing in a line, but can you imagine what 3,700 people holding empty plates would look like? We think that image could have significant impact.

Can you help? Please come downtown on September 1 and stand with us for twenty minutes on behalf of our hungry kids! Families and children are welcome; our route is all on the sidewalks and kid-safe. At 5:20 everyone can go home to supper or go on to enjoy lots of special back-to-school festivities as part of Go Downtown Salem’s FIRST WEDNESDAY monthly event. We understand there will be lots of sidewalk sales, high school marching bands/cheerleaders/sports teams at a big pep rally, and Reading for All is even raffling off a car! As part of our FOOD FOR THOUGHT project, we will be hosting a small reception and silent auction of some beautiful art plates being created by local artists to benefit Marion-Polk Food Share in the lower level of Salem Center mall near Nordstrom’s. We’d love to see you there.

Anyone who can come to join our line can contact me at Marion-Polk Food Share at 503-581-3855 ext 322 or via e-mail at kdaniel@marionpolkfoodshare.org. I will send you instructions about where to go to join the line and what you should bring with you.
If you have anywhere to post the flier on the reverse, or can hand out copies to help spread the word, I would greatly appreciate it. 3,700 volunteers are a lot to recruit. I could really use your help. Thanks in advance for your support!

Kat Daniel, Marion-Polk Food Share and Women Ending Hunger
Be there, aloha.
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