Supplementing the Supplement

By Jean Blish Siers *

North Carolina has the fifth highest level of food insecurity in the county. Nearly one in five North Carolina residents lives in a household that cannot consistently put enough nutritious food on the table to feed all members of the home. Homes with children fare even worse. An estimated one-in-four children lives in a food-insecure home.

Sometimes people ask me why Society of St. Andrew needs to take food to people who are already receiving SNAP benefits. Shouldn’t that food go to someone who needs it more?

SNAP, which we used to call Food Stamps, stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And it’s exactly that: supplemental. It does not come close to paying the cost of a household’s food expenses, particularly if the household wants fresh, nutritious food. To stretch those SNAP dollars, most people end up choosing long-lasting, high-calorie, highly processed foods. With limited money, good food (with the potential to spoil,) is often at the bottom of the shopping list.

Part VIII_Chartbook_SNAP and Hunger in NCThis graphic from the North Carolina Justice Center is a pretty stark reminder of why, even with SNAP benefits, the work of Society of St. Andrew is as important as ever. As the economy continues its slow recovery from post-recession lows, the numbers of our neighbors living in poverty and those who are food insecure have not declined. In many communities, they have actually increased. The rising tide is not lifting all boats.

Your efforts in the fields, and your dollars donated to our ministry, make a huge difference in supplementing the supplement.

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




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.