As noted in the article “Hunger in the Land of Plenty,” published in Edible Monterey Bay, information collected in 2010 found that 27.1% of Monterey County’s children and 15.4% of the county’s population as a whole were food insecure, meaning they don’t always know where their next meal will come from. City Data Statististics and the 2009-2014 Housing Element reveal more facts about our county. The latter addresses the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), that reports that 9,718 Monterey County citizens live below the poverty line.
Thankfully, All Saints’ has long been providing relief, support, and love. The recent funds raised by Small Bites for Big Hunger, regular contributions, and active church members make all this possible. Members of our outreach team, including Jana Gil, Rosemary Smith, Hans Lehmann, and Dave McClendon, come to church each week to keep our food pantry stocked and bring bags to the front office, where individuals are able to come pick up bags during regular office hours. The team also prepares food boxes prior to Easter and Thanksgiving.
Aliceon Jones, another member of the outreach team, prepares a report each month to send to the Monterey County Food Bank (from which we purchase much of our foods at greatly reduced prices). This month’s report reveals the following data:
Households served: 40
Number of people: 102
Number of children: 42
Number of Seniors: 17
Meals Served: 26
Salinas – 1
Gorda – 2
Carmel – 14
Monterey – 13
Del Monte Park – 1
Pebble Beach – 2
Sand City – 2
Does the fact that there are so many hungry people in Carmel and throughout Monterey County disturb you? You can help relieve the ongoing problem in many ways:
- Be a good neighbor – get to know your neighbors, be a better listener, live out the golden rule.
- Maintain your regular contribution/pledge to All Saints’, as our annual budget has designated a generous amount to support our outreach throughout the year.
- Volunteer – speak to Hans Lehmann if you would like to volunteer to cook for the men in I-HELP, who come once a month for lodging and a meal. Speak to Rosemary Smith if you’d like to learn more about the food pantry.
- Donate healthy foods–canned and jarred goods, as well as packaged and dry foods such as pasta and juices boxes–and place them in the food basket on Sunday morning or bring your donation to the church office during the week.
- Make a special donation – making a check out to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund or to All Saints’ with a memo to Outreach.
- Support fair work opportunities and tip – part-time employment and irregular work hours are a leading cause of poverty. If you are an employer, balance business economics and ROI (return on investment) with compassion. Consider how stressful it is to balance your business and personal budgets, and then consider offering your employees a good livable wage or at least a regular work schedule so that they can make arrangements to hold down a second job. A primer on poverty published in 2009 reported that it is more expensive to live in poverty than as a middle-class American.
Caution: compassion and generosity are contagious.