To the Editor:
The story of poverty is as old as the ages, and hunger is as timeless as the story of food.
One hundred years ago on the rocky, sea swept cliffs of England a grandmother, wanting to fix a special Sunday treat for her grandson, warmed skim milk, added a little wild honey and poured it over torn pieces of dry bread. He called it, “Sky blue and sinkers.”
A neighbor, in the early days of West Virginia, called in a young boy and asked if they still had their dog. He replied, yes.
So she gave him a bone, with a portion of meat attached and instructed him to give this to his father for the dog; knowing the father would explain that the dog would better appreciate the bone if they would cook it and remove that excess meat. Thereby meeting their hungry need, and the dog’s, while preserving their dignity.
Some see it, some don’t. But the fact that no one notices a hungry child does nothing to fill that child’s stomach. It adds the shame of unconcern.
While attending Emmanuel Episcopal Church this Sunday, I was blessed by the moving account that Mrs. Becky Millar presented on “The Lunch-Box Program.” It began in 2001 when a group of caring persons met weekday mornings to prepare nutritious lunches for 60 hungry children who had been signed up for the program.
The dedication remained and the next year there were more hungry children being fed — each weekday noon — all summer long.
Not only were there less hungry children on our playgrounds and backyards, but the parents of those children, knowing they were getting a nutritional meal at noon, now had a little more money to buy gas to get to work or buy a little more food for suppers.
Perhaps they slept better, knowing their children were being more nutritionally fed.
Summer after summer, the program grew, as more children were signed up, churches and organizations and individuals stepped up to help, both physically and financially.
Not only do meals have to be prepared, they must be delivered and they must be paid for. In summer 2013, this program (including all of those involved) provided 25,000 lunches to over 600 hungry children in this area.
Is this the only program helping? Absolutely not. Other groups, and organizations in Cumberland and Frostburg, are providing meals.
What a sense of pride it instills knowing that we are living in an area that acknowledges hungry children and acts upon that insight. We should surely offer these caring persons our thanks and try to help, whenever and wherever we can. What better calling can there be, than to see a need and fill it?
Loretta Nazelrod Brown