What does “Fresh Food” mean to you?
The Thebault clan has been sick a lot lately. When you have 6 people in the house, it takes at least a full week for the illness to get passed around to everyone – sometimes even two weeks – and by then we’re starting on a new one! We haven’t had a house of dry noses in a couple of months. This is part of my effort to combat sickness…
To me, fresh food means lots of fruits and veggies. You might notice that there are more than a couple of grapefruit in that bowl… I bought a bag that weighed more than my two boys put together! Yummy. Certainly all of that vitamin C will do us some good!
I am thankful that we have the resources to buy grapefruit.
We have the money to buy them, and we have a car to get us across town to the store. Transportation is crucial because…
Did you know that there is no grocery store in East Waco? 50 years ago there were two stores, and now there aren’t any. Can you imagine what it would be like to live without access to a grocery store? Where in the world would you buy food?
You’d get food at the same places that my neighbors get food – gas stations, convenience stores, drug stores, dollar stores… There are at least 2 dollar stores, 1 gas station, and 2 liquor stores within easy walking distance from our house. And what kind of food do they sell there?
I can almost guarantee you that you can’t grapefruit at any of those places.
So what happens when your diet consists of convenience store food? People in poverty struggle immensely with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other such diseases. Most if not ALL of these diseases are preventable and reversible through diet alone, but you have to eat healthy food. The chips, candy, soda, and frozen pizza sold down the street are only going to make things worse.
Couple this with the fact that many of the children in poverty grow up eating this food, and now young ones have taste buds that were never trained to eat healthy foods. It will be difficult for them to grow up and change those food preferences – they are almost certainly going to struggle with the health problems of their parents.
What can we do?
There are lots of great folks in Waco trying to get healthy food into the hands of those without access to it. We recently found out that the Downtown Waco Farmer’s Market is now accepting food stamps, and we were so excited! It’s within walking distance for many of our neighbors, which gives them access. It’s a great step in the right direction.
I encourage you to think about the people in your area and whether or not they are truly able to eat well.
The next time you eat a grapefruit, pray for those that lack resources and brainstorm ways to share that fresh food with those who desperately need it.