No one should go hungry on Thanksgiving

Wednesday , November 08, 2017 - 4:30 AM1 comment

STANDARD-EXAMINER EDITORIAL BOARD

Thanksgiving is barely two weeks away. So it’s time to start putting together your shopping list.

When you do, add an extra turkey. Or maybe a ham.

Because it’s the only way some people will be able to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Each year, Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah partners with the United Way of Northern Utah to hold a Thanksgiving food drive. The need never diminishes.

Food insecurity exists throughout the United States. According to Feeding America, a national network of 200 food banks, 13.4 percent of Americans lacked consistent access to nutritious food in 2015.

Does that mean they lived in constant hunger? No. But the threat was often present.

“Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods,” Feeding America explained on its website.

In Utah, 13.1 percent of the population made those tradeoffs, Feeding America reports. And who suffered the most?

Children.

In 2015, about 1 in 6 Utahns under the age of 18 lived in food insecurity — 16.4 percent.

The gap was even greater in Weber County, where 12.7 percent of the population experienced food insecurity, but the number climbed to 17.2 percent for children.

Essentially, we’re talking about the working poor, those who make so little they qualify for food stamps, but still struggle to meet their basic food, housing and health care needs.

CCS and the United Way annually combine forces to feed the hungry at Thanksgiving, but in 2016, they faced a challenge. Less than two weeks before Thanksgiving, they still needed 900 turkeys in order to meet their goal of providing holiday groceries for 1,500 families.

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As a community, we can’t let that happen again this year.

You can donate turkeys and hams through Nov. 22 at CCS or the United Way. But the earlier, the better.

Many among us struggle with food insecurity. You know them. They’re clerks where you shop, servers where you eat, parents where your children attend school. They’re your elderly next-door neighbors and the young couple down the street.

Without your help, they may not be able to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Everybody deserves at least that. Donate to the CCS/United way holiday food drive.

Where to call

For more information about the Thanksgiving food drive, call CCS of Northern Utah at 801-394-5944.

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