Happy World Food Day!

By Jean Blish Siers *
Simple SupperThis Friday, October 16, is World Food Day and October 24 is Food Day. It’s a great time to reflect on the state of food and hunger in America. Here at Society of St. Andrew, we suggest that on one of those two days you serve a “Simple Supper,” such as rice and beans. It’s how most of the world eats. Then take the difference between the cost of that simple supper and the cost of a typical meal, and donate it to Society of St. Andrew. It’s a small step that connects us all with the broader world.

Here are a few food facts to, um, chew on. The USDA tracks food costs for a variety of demographics. In August 2015, the USDA estimates that a family of four will spend between $130 per month (Thrifty Plan) to $1,292 per month (Liberal Plan). I think of myself as pretty thrifty, and I don’t know if I could feed a family of four on $130 a month. The Moderate Plan, hovering around $600 per month, is about the maximum that a family of four could expect with SNAP benefits.

Back in 2012, a web site called The Daily Meal found the average basic, home-cooked American meal (roast chicken, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, and the other things necessary to prepare it) cost about $5 per person. While this is substantially less expensive than eating out, and arguably a healthier option, it’s not cheap.

So I turned to the Money Crashers web site. Their “5 Easy Rice and Beans Recipes” analyzed the costs of dried versus canned beans and different types of rice. Their recipes ranged in per-serving cost from $0.53 per serving for Pinto Bean and Rice Tacos to $0.81 for Italian White Bean and Rice Soup.

The beans-and-rice meals offer a savings of at least $4 per person! Think how many people we could feed with all those $4 savings! At Society of St. Andrew, we can deliver a serving of fresh produce for about two cents. Four dollars would provide 200 servings of fresh produce to go with their own simple suppers!

Whether you honor Food Day with your family, your congregation, or your civic group, please remember that some folks in our communities cannot afford even simple, healthy meals.

* Jean Blish Siers is SoSA’s Charlotte Area Gleaning Coordinator, and a regular contributor to this News & Events blog.

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VOLUNTEER WAIVER

In the event I, or a registered family member, suffers any illness or accident requiring emergency hospitalization, medication, or other medical assistance while participating in a gleaning event, permission is given for any medical treatment which is deemed necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. I fully understand and comprehend that reasonable care will be exercised by the adult staff for this gleaning event to protect the safety of those involved. I understand that the field supervisor’s instructions must be followed at all times, and that I am responsible for any damages caused to fields, farms, or equipment by me/my family members not following these instructions.

Photos, videos, and other images in which I, or a registered family member, appear that are taken during gleanings may be used by the Society of St. Andrew for news coverage, newsletters, reports, displays, and for other print, broadcast, web, or electronic news or promotional purposes.

I do not hold the board, members, or employees of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA,) or any volunteers liable for injury, bodily harm, accidents, or death of myself/my child during events sponsored by the Society of St. Andrew. Neither will I hold the person(s) who owns and/or operates the property from which we glean, salvage, or to which we deliver food, liable for accidents, injury, or death during the gleanings or other SoSA events.

For a PDF print version of this waiver, click here.

How the Story of the 12 Baskets is Connected to SoSA’s Name

Matthew 14:16-21

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

2 Kings 4:42-44

[…]the man of God […] said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” His attendant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.