I spent the morning handing out produce at a food bank downtown. Wrapped up in scarves and gloves we curved up our mouths at hundreds, making eye contact and conversation. “Just be warm and welcoming,” our volunteer coordinator told us. What that really means is, “Just acknowledge their humanity.”
Hungry. Not just their bellies. They want someone to see them. Someone to let them know that they’re noticed. They matter. They’re still worthy human beings.
Never in my life have I wondered where my next meal would come from. There were weeks when every meal was Top Ramen and cigarettes, but the meals always existed. I always had the luxury of being more concerned with my monthly booze budget. I made the decision to focus on getting high or drunk over getting fed, but always got fed anyway. I’m thankful for that. But I know the other kind of hunger. The kind Bruce Springsteen sings about. The one that volunteers and donation centers can’t combat. Continue reading →