“There are people in the world so hungry,

that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Psychologist Abraham Maslow famously described food as the most fundamental of human requirements in his pyramid of human needs. For most of us, living through a period of time without food is more often self-imposed than forced. We experience temporary hunger with the newest diet fad — say, intermittent fasting — when we are experiencing an especially busy day or observing a religious fast day. Real, uninvited hunger, however, is terrifying. Not knowing when or if the next meal is coming can destroy hope, faith and family; it undermines communities and erodes nations. It is the most significant kind of separation into “have” and “have not”.

So why am I talking about this type of hunger? We’re used to the subject of hunger in third world countries, in areas suffering drought or war, but is this really a local issue? Is it really our issue? The sad answer is, yes. The Federal Census recorded almost 12% of people living in Yamhill County, about 1 out of 8, as food insecure. That is, they were not sure they and their families would have access to food when they were hungry.

In addition, the impact of the Covid pandemic has been catastrophic. It has left far too many facing the heartbreaking question: “How am I going to put food on the table for my family?” Fortunately, in the face of this devastating reality, we also see the power of the human spirit and the remarkable ways that communities respond in challenging times. We see the good in people, in our neighbors and in entire communities as they come together to say they will not stand by while our neighbors go hungry.

One of the best ways to actively fight hunger is for people from across the community to volunteer and/or donate money. Saturday Morning Breakfast relies on volunteers to literally be the wheels that make the bus go — to help cook, clean and serve a hot, nutritious breakfast with something warm to drink. But rising costs have served to more than double the funds needed to assist our neighbors. When you volunteer with Saturday Morning Breakfast or donate funds, you’re not only supporting access to nutritious food today. You are also building community power to work on eliminating hunger for good.

I would like to invite you to volunteer some Saturday, see the great work we are doing and hopefully become part of that effort. If you are able to make a donation, you will be giving an additional measure of hope to another. If you’re interested, please contact me at president@SMBinMac.org or sign-up using the link: https://linktr.ee/smbinmac

Saturday Morning Breakfast was established as a charitable ministry of McMinnville Cooperative Ministries.

Over the last 12 years, it has worked with the church and volunteers from across our community to prepare a hot, nutritious breakfast every Saturday morning in a safe, inclusive and community-oriented environment.