Last evening, I felt inspired as I sat in a room filled with wild hopers, who still believe small groups of people can make powerful changes in their local community to help those who are food insecure. I learned that food insecurity affects one in 5 people who live in the Columbia River Gorge. People are skipping meals, going to bed hungry in a valley that is filled with fertile land and abundant harvests. Jacques Diouf once said, "Hunger is not an issue of charity. its an issue of justice. There is plenty of food for all in our valley and some of it goes to waste before it can be enjoyed by everyone. I care deeply about growing food for my community as a farmer and I want EVERYONE in my neighborhood to be able to enjoy the many harvests from my farm weather they can pay for it by the pound or are gifted with a box of fruit to enjoy each day with their children.
We are coming into the season of Thanksgiving and I feel compelled as a human who farms to give intentionally each week to tackle food insecurity in my neighborhood. This week we donated a large bin of Sugar Pumpkins to the local food bank and donated 20 large bins of Goldens/jonagold apples to the Oregon Food bank to distribute to all over our state for thousands of households to enjoy this holiday season. Fresh fruit grown with love for all to enjoy is something to be thankful for and something I am committed too each and every year. Nutritious, sustainably grown food grown for all!
I challenge us all to take inventory in our cupboards and give generously every single week to put an end to hunger in the gorge. If you have plenty to eat, please remember that others have less and they need us all to share forward with them so they can be nourished by the sustaining and healing powers of food. Not once a year but make this your aim every single week. Lets carry ample granola bars, fresh fruit, grocery gift cards and peanut butter packets in our cars to share forward with our friends who live outside and are asking for help on the side of the freeway.
Did you know that many kids in town the only solid meal they get is when they are at school and there are a lot of weeks coming ahead where they will not have the opportunity to enjoy a school meal because of the holidays and time off? I propose everyone should consider inviting the kids in their neighborhood over for lunch? The kids in my life thoroughly enjoy cooking so preparing a meal with them and sharing it forward is a great way to love your neighbors well and break bread together.
I have made the goal of having friends (old and new over) over for dinner in my home so we can share stories and supper with one another each week this season. Want to come over for dinner? The thanksgiving season is all about sharing, giving, connecting and enjoying the warmth of a meal with people you love. There is plenty of room at our tables for extras and I challenge everyone who reads this to intentionally invite extra people over each week to be nourished and loved in your home. xoxo your grateful farmer, Trina McAlexander