Food (In)security

I had another related topic as the original subject for this blog post, but that changed within the last week. I will explore that and other topics related to food issues in future posts. I have some history and experience with many food-associated things, but I don’t at all pretend to believe that I have any inkling of what it means to not know where my next meal will come from.

The clients that are served by Kim Boughton, the subject of this week’s feature, have a vastly greater depth of personal knowledge of that subject. I’m not sure that it was purely coincidental, but in the days leading up to the publishing of her story, I came face to face with a similar situation involving an individual I know.

The person had suddenly and unexpectedly lost their place to live, the result of a continually unstable and undependable family situation. Being one of only a few contacts the person had, I heard a first-hand account of what it really means to have nowhere to go and no one to count on, and nothing to eat.

I’m located a good distance away from them, and I helped as much as I could, worried and anxious for their wellbeing, especially because we experienced subzero temperatures over the past week here in Wisconsin. They were living in their car.

Talking by phone, I could hear the physical and mental fatigue in their voice, as the temperature outside was rapidly dropping that evening.

“It’s so cold. It’s so cold.”

With some assistance, they were able to secure a motel room for that night and the next, and were able to get to a food pantry that opened for an hour in the early evening to get a few items to eat.

I stayed at work until I got the text that they were safely in the motel room. As I drove home, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something in me had turned. I have supported food pantries for years, and have encountered many traumatic and unpleasant histories involving individuals I have known through different jobs I have had. This was different.

“It’s so cold.”

“It’s so cold.” 

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