Coming face to face with hunger
I was depressingly unshocked today at the food hub. A man came in who was very agitated. He was very impatient with us and clearly upset.
Debbie, one of the Foodshare trustees, took him aside to try to comfort him. He told us how hungry he was. She brought him to where we serve breakfast to people who are homeless. He continually moved around in his seat, unable to sit still. He kept asking why we did not have any heat on. He did not want food but, after three attempts, accepted a hot drink. After a while, we managed to convince him to eat something. We brought him a bowl of cereal. He looked at it for a while. He picked it up and took a mouthful. He waited a few seconds. He then brought the bowl right up to his lips and literally started shovelling the food into his mouth. He was eating so ferociously, he was hardly able to breathe. He finished and sat still for a few seconds. The colour came back to his face. He became calm. He started talking completely normally.
After a few minutes, we took him around the food hub to collect food. He said about five times that he had no money and could not afford the food. He struggled to understand that we do not charge for food. By the end, he thanked almost everyone he came across, not just for the food but for our care and compassion.
This is what hunger looks like in 2023. It is not pretty. I have seen it before. It no longer shocks me. And I find that depressing because it is so easy to resolve.
In one of the richest countries in the world, we should not need food banks. We are able to support J and everyone like him entirely due to your generosity. If you are able to afford it, please do not stop your regular donations of food. It really does make all the difference. And we really do appreciate all your help.
For more information about Foodshare in Maidenhead, go to www.foodshare.charity
If you enjoyed this article, you may enjoy my www.animating.vision website which brings to life a vision of the people we live with and the world we live in. And to see more of my Photo Art, check out the Photo Art gallery at www.animating.vision/art.
And if you are an artist seeking to influence the world, you may want to explore whether to incorporate the emerging genre of Morally-Explicit Art as part of your artistic expression.