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Medcalf: For many Minnesotans, hunger is part of their new normal since the pandemic began

2021-11-24 17:11:20 –

When I was a kid, when I went to my grandma’s house, I always smelled it simmering in the stove. Her kitchen was my favorite restaurant.

But before you feel comfortable, she always asks the same question:

“Have you eaten?”

She grew up in poverty in Mississippi and lived in the presence of hunger in her family and community. She didn’t want her grandchildren to feel the pain.

Food shortages are widespread in pandemics.

More people are dealing with the shame that hunger can create.about this

Is there anything more we can do to make Thanksgiving, “Did you eat?”Expression

It’s about care and worry, not judgment.

My grandmother lovingly asked the question.

“One of the most powerful things we can do is make it okay to ask for help.”

Second Harvest Heartland CEO Allison O’Tour said. “It shows trust

In your community when you do it, and I think I’ll talk to friends about it

And family members and neighbors help to open the conversation.Sometimes it’s

Simply connect someone or provide resources. “

For Sheila Crawford and Aaron from Brazil, it all happened very quickly.

Last year, Crawford from California went to COVID-19.

Direct impact on their family.

Medical procedures limit Shayler’s mobility and

Childcare facility. Later, Aaron lost his job and was a victim of a pandemic budget cut.

There were medical costs and the cost of raising three children.

The Apple Valley family’s financial faucet leak flooded

.. They knew they needed help.They are

Local food shelves.

“Because I’m from a country in the Third World, it’s very deeply moving and very emotional to me,” Sheila said. “I see children on the street asking for a quarter to get whatever they can get, so it was a very sad reality that we lived. Just come to us and say, “We can help you.” There are many. It’s great and I’m always grateful for the help. “

The pandemic has changed the face of hunger — at least the face that exists in our stereotypes. Crawfords represent a new common sense in America. Previously, people who didn’t need the help of looking at food shelves or other stores to fill the fridge.

Minnesota’s food shelves are projected to end this year with 3.7 million visits, just below last year’s record 3.8 million, according to Star Tribune last week. Hunger is probably closer than many of us have ever imagined. It is in our family and our social circle. It’s in the cubicle next to us at work. It’s in our neighbor’s house. And it’s silent.

I can not see.

But Aaron Crawford could feel it.

He and Sheila met on a bus trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. He saw her talking to others, and during a short stop on the trip, he changed seats to get closer to her.

They got married a few months later.

Aaron refused to go when they first asked for help in the grocery rack last year. He was proud and didn’t have to ask for help.

“I had a hard time with that,” said Navy veteran Aaron. “I was embarrassed.” Oh my lord, I’m at this point. What the hell is going on in my life? ” I felt like I couldn’t crawl. “

I suspect that some people in my world don’t have enough feelings to discuss their needs. Are they doing enough to minimize the shame that many families facing food shortages may now feel?

The youngest daughter’s school has a food rack every week. I’ve seen that line grow over the last year. It’s diverse. There are people with used cars and people with new cars. Some people are walking with their shopping carts, while others are patiently waiting for staff to load their cars.

Sheila will also sit in those rows. And they gave her family a lifeline.

The following year, Crawford’s life improved. She took time out of her childcare job and Aaron found a gig on the UPS. They are not where they were, but they are moving forward.

“We are passing by,” Aaron said. “We go to the grocery shelves to help with a little extra. Hopefully in 6 months to a year, we can stay in our house and instead of deferring all the rent, You can start saving a little more money. It’s ours and you don’t even have to go to the grocery store anymore. We go to volunteers and return what they gave us. “

At this Thanksgiving, many of us will enjoy an endless menu. We don’t have to think too much about hunger.

However, on Fridays and the following days, many will return to the same challenges they encountered last year.

At that time, I remember the words my grandma loved.

“Did you eat?” Can help someone in our lives more than we know.

Myron Medcalf is a Star Tribune local columnist and ESPN’s national writer and radio host. His column is printed twice a month on Sunday and is also displayed online. Email: myron.medcalf@startribune.com

Twitter: @MedcalfByESPN

Medcalf: For many Minnesotans, hunger is part of their new normal since the pandemic began Source link Medcalf: For many Minnesotans, hunger is part of their new normal since the pandemic began

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