Am sending this blog post from my Vacaville District Office. Today, my 5th and final day of the 2011 Hunger Challenge, required additional planning because it is a “6-city hop”—leaving Davis to go to Fairfield this morning to speak at a local elementary school, then to Vacaville, to Woodland, back to Davis and then to Sacramento. On a day like today, where to store my modest meals can become a challenge. Fortunately, I was able to stash my lunch in our district office refrigerator before heading further west to my first appointment.
In a few minutes, I will be heading to Woodland to host a volunteer recognition event for our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, where we will serve my favorite food—Mexican! However, I will not partake but wait until I get home to Davis for a final meal before heading to the airport to visit my daughter in San Diego.
I asked the elementary school food service workers if they would be participating in the summer nutrition program, and they said, “Yes!”. As the saying goes, “Hunger doesn’t go on vacation.” I am glad to know that children will continue to get the basic nutrition they need over the summer months, at least in Fairfield.
As my 2011 Hunger Challenge comes to a close, I hope that my participation has in a small way raised awareness and sparked conversations among my colleagues and those who may not think about the serious issue of hunger in California. In the richest, most powerful nation in the world, to know that 1 in 6 Californians do not know where there next meal is coming from is not only a tragedy—it’s a disgrace.
I look forward to 2012, when I will again participate in a hunger challenge—because intellectualizing about hunger is not as powerful as experiencing it.