Contributed by Isabella Mori
This blogathon really got me going. Too bad I canâ€™t participate; canâ€™t wait to be part of this next year! So at least this year I want to stand at the sidelines and cheer real loud!
Since Rebecca is blogging for the Surrey Food Bank, I thought Iâ€™d talk a bit about my experience with food and poverty.
Fortunately, Iâ€™ve never been so down on my luck that I didnâ€™t have enough to eat. I got really close once, though, in Chile. We were waiting for money to arrive from Germany and it just wouldnâ€™t show up. We were stranded in this quaint little fishing village about 100 miles north of Valparaiso (a beautiful port city, quite similar to san Francisco or vancouver in many ways), and our host was away for a day or so.
She was something else. Maria Gloria was her name, an eccentric ageing actor from Spain, from the time before Franco. Anyway, Maria Gloria was gone â€“ and all we had left were a big pack of rice, a fig tree full of ripe fruit in the garden, and a well stocked bar, with quite a selection of Grappa. We survived, listening to Violeta Parra, Mercedes Sosa and Georges Moustaki, getting drunkerer and drunkerer as the day went on.
It was different for my parents. They were literally starving artists. The post-war years in Germany, where I was born, saw many people with very, very little food. But even as it started to get better, my parents didnâ€™t quite catch on because my father was busy being a painter (a very good one, might I add) and was not busy hunting down the bacon.
His interest in (cough) illegal substances had him disinherited so there just werenâ€™t any sources of money anywhere. My parents spent days and days not eating at all. I was born a bit after that but for a long time, my parents were still poor. To this day, eating a soft pretzel with butter on it â€“ both luxuries back then â€“ imbues me with a feeling of incredibly delectable decadence.
These experiences are probably part of the reason why I feel pretty strongly about the need for everyone to be fed. When I ran a small social service organization in the Downtown Eastside for a while, we had a ritual of making lunch for our clients on the last day before many of them would receive their income assistance cheques. Thatâ€™s usually a tough week. We didnâ€™t really have the budget for it and certainly not the mandate â€“ but how can you let anyone go hungry? People get weak and grumpy and confused when theyâ€™re hungry. Thatâ€™s no fun.
So hereâ€™s my cheer for Rebecca and the surrey food bank. Letâ€™s make sure people donâ€™t go hungry!
Blogathon: Post #26 – Sponsor me to keep going for the Surrey Food Bank