Coping With Crisis

Tonight the experts tell us the gas crisis in Charlotte is coming to a close.  By next week, you should be able to find as much fuel as you want… as often as you want it.  That’s a relief.  It was frustrating.  It was stressful.  How well did you cope?  And were there strategies you used to conserve that you’ll continue using in the future?

During the gas crisis, we couldn’t change the situation.  We were forced to change how we were living.  We drove less, we combined trips, we used the phone more often.  I think we’re going to find ourselves in a similar situation, over a longer period of time during this nation’s economic downturn.

We’re going to have to learn how to live more sustainable lives.  Reuse more.  Recycle more.  Conserve more.  Consume less.  Give more.  Because those of us who have the least are suffering the most.

My friend Allison and I ran our Friendship Trays route this Wednesday and came face to face with hunger and deep need.  A woman who was new to the service asked me, “Will someone else be delivering more food later?  I was told it would be enough for the whole day.”

It’s not enough for the entire day.  It’s one meal, one drink, enough for one person.

I skipped lunch that day.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the notion she might not have enough food to eat that day, or any day.  And I know she is not alone.  According to Census data, one in five children in our area lives in poverty.  Poverty causes hunger.  In his book Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty, Mark Winne’s research finds fresh, inexpensive healthy food is unavailable to to the poor.  So not only are they hungry, they are malnourished – because they don’t have the money to purchase nutritionally adequate food.  So while the rich get local and organic, the poor get diabetes.

I’m working on further stories about this for WBTV News 3 this fall.  Stay tuned.  And here are some links to local agencies who know how to help in these times of great need.

Friendship Trays, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

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