Let Us Remember Our Neighbours

By Sandra Seaborn, Associate Priest

Posted on October 7, 2015

The happy noise of excited chatter filled the air as two dozen people gathered and greeted one another. The anticipation of our evening adventure ahead outweighed the slight gnawing of our stomachs. We had been asked to prepare by skipping dinner. Five hours later, having walked the downtown streets of Toronto in pairs, the room was quiet as we re-gathered. Tired, hungry and sobered, having spent two dollars or less each on food, we learned first-hand about hunger and homelessness our neighbours experience on a daily basis. Feeling just an edge of the experience of hunger was enough. Each of us in the room that night were changed. We had seen the unseen and acknowledged our own appetites. How sweet was the taste of hot chocolate we sipped as we warmed up!

I experienced this “street walk”, organized by Yonge Street Mission over twenty years ago. And I still remember. I remember being cold; unable to think of anything but when I would next eat; becoming short tempered; and shutting down to the world and people around me. Hunger does that. Hunger makes your world smaller, as the needs of your physical body shape your vision.

Tragically, hunger remains as much an issue today as it was twenty years ago. Now, the Daily Bread Food Bank use is getting longer and moving outward from the downtown core, as housing costs continue to escalate. With only $6.67 per person a day left after rent and utilities, the need of those getting assistance from food banks is evident. Your support can make a difference.

So, as Thanksgiving (October 12) and World Food Day (October 16) approach, we invite you to consider giving to our annual food drive. Extend your Thanksgiving celebration to our community, by bringing in a food donation to church next Sunday. Talk about hunger and food insecurity with those you gather with. Perhaps even calculate what you spend on the Thanksgiving meal and match that in a contribution.

As the happy noise of excited chatter fills the air this Thanksgiving – let us remember our neighbours.