I have always known that poverty is prevalent in many large cities, but it is a very eye opening experience to see how close to home it really can be. This past Wednesday, I traveled with Andrew, Mark, and Hannah to the Holy Rosary Church where a monthly community meal is held. We were there to help serve food and provide assistance wherever we were needed. The number of volunteering staff was slightly lower than they had expected, but they all welcomed us in as one of their own.
Until last Wednesday night, I hadn’t really experienced the face of Minneapolis that was before me. Perhaps I had limited my image of the city to just the U of M campus and uptown Minneapolis. Maybe I thought that poverty only existed in Denver or Chicago. Whatever had been my source of unawareness was now gone. There are people within our closest communities who are not as fortunate, who may not be able to eat a hot meal every night. It becomes too easy to think about problems dealing with hunger in other countries and overlook those who are in our own neighborhoods.
It is also clear that some people have trouble asking others for help when it is most needed. I will agree that I am guilty of this more often than I am willing to admit. It becomes hard to know what is truly the best course of action to deal with hunger in our community, because we don’t always know who is in need, or how we can help them. When it comes to hunger, I am often reminded of Matthew 25:35. It reads; “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” This shows us how important it is that we must help those who are in need, and how any small amount of love you give to someone can have a profound impact on their life.