Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Feed our hungry

It is not a pretty sight for a nation once known as the richest: American families desperate for food.

What has become a nationwide scandal is no less evident in the Wood River Valley, where thousands of pounds of donated food and cash have helped feed families trapped in the suffocating economic crisis that may lead to joblessness and poverty.

This community has never lacked in its charity and generosity. Evidence is widespread. Arts and culture flourish because of philanthropic residents. St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center is a tribute to civic support. Impromptu fundraisers inevitably follow personal tragedies.

Now, that generosity is being tested again.

The valley's premier food provider for the needy, the Hunger Coalition, is appealing for more help as demand for family meals is surging. The numbers are staggering. In one three-day period, the coalition distributed 5,206 pounds of food to more than 200 families. The mobile food bank handed out 9,613 pounds in one week.

To show the scope of its operations, the Hunger Coalition is holding an open house today, March 4, from 5-7 p.m., at 21 Comet Lane in Hailey's airport industrial area.

Valley markets have generously established drop-off boxes for donated non-perishable food. Cash donations are also needed for the coalition to buy items not donated.

Our community has a moral obligation to embrace those in this period of genuine need. No human should ever lack food when others are capable of sharing their good fortune.

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