Hunger 101

“It was rainin’ hard in ‘Frisco, I needed one more fare to make my night.  A lady up ahead waved to flag me down.  She got in at at the light.” (Taxi, Harry Chapin)

Many of us from the 60s generation recall the few opening lyrics and can’t help but sing with a certain nostalgia that echoes a time of hope, promise as well as an irretrievable feeling unique to those times.  Now, we find ourselves in situations of the same social urgency with fewer common resources, but oh-so-much-more knowledge!  On Long Island, Long Island Cares – The Harry Chapin Food Bank not only embodies the legacy of Harry Chapin, but maintains an exceptional array of outreach programming serving the greater LI public.   Thursday, November 7th, Christine Brown from LI Cares came to our school to engage students in an interactive workshop called “Hunger 101.”  Students learned the realities of hunger in local communities and were encouraged to “only imagine” how that situation might be “magnified” into various regions of the island, the state, the region, the country and the world.   It was an exercise few students and all-too few adults truly realize.   Ms Brown continued with a video detailing the programs that have developed from the dream of alleviating hunger so many years ago:  food delivery for the elderly, for veterans, an after-school cafe’ for kids with mentoring and nutritious food, as well as supplying food for countless pantries and soup kitchens on Long Island.    Students learned how they would deal with certain issues in their lives through role-playing with budgetary constraints, unexpected contrived problems and the choices they would be forced to make when these problems occurred in their families.  The results revealed brought a new-found understanding, just a touch more empathy about the world around us and hopefully a commitment on the part of others to understand that we are ultimately here for a purpose – to be engaged, be a part of goodness and to take little steps in creating a better world.

“Through the too many miles, and the too little smiles, I still remember you.” (Taxi, Harry Chapin)

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