Our guest blogger is Margery Adams, a spring intern from UNCC. Margery shares her thoughts about the true meaning of hunger through an open letter to other students.
A note to my fellow students:
I say this so often it seems to be my life motto these days. “I’m hungry”, “There’s nothing here to eat”, “Why is take-out so expensive”, “Do I have enough money in my bank account for Taco Bell so I don’t have to eat the canned peas in my pantry”, we’ve said them all before. Scavenging for food off of my friends dinner plates, inviting my parents up to see my apartment…and take me out to dinner, ramen noodles every night- sometimes I act like I haven’t eaten for days. I thought I had it so bad, like every other college student. It wasn’t until I started interning at Loaves & Fishes that I realized how ignorant and blind I had truly been. I wasn’t hungry, I was picky. I was used to home cooked meals, eating out at my favorite restaurants and dinner leftovers from my brother who lived ten minutes down the road. Never once had I experienced an empty pantry, never once had my belly gone un-fed. It wasn’t until I was fully submerged in my work at Loaves & Fishes that I realized how many people in the Charlotte area had, in fact, experienced a growling belly, a limited amount of food on their empty pantry shelves, and the uncertainty of where their next meal would come from. I found that my meaning of “hungry” was strikingly different from theirs.
I was humbled the first time I visited the pantry at Holy Comforter and met some of the visiting clients. They weren’t just grabbing different foods and throwing them in their cart. They definitely weren’t trying to decide which snack would be better at 2 in the morning. They were busy calculating the meals they would make for their families in the weeks to come. Strategically planning their children’s packed lunches for school. They were choosing food that would keep their bellies full and satisfied. Why couldn’t I put that kind of thought into buying groceries? I suddenly knew why. I was never nervous about where my next meal would come from. If worse came to worse, I could eat those canned peas that had been sitting patiently in my pantry. Some people don’t have that sense of comfort. Some people don’t have that can of peas waiting.
And so I urge you fellow students, the next time you open that fridge and mutter, “There’s nothing here to eat”, perhaps you should reevaluate what your meaning of “nothing” really is.