Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Contributed by Isabella Mori

This blogathon really got me going. Too bad I can’t participate; can’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 I’d talk a bit about my experience with food and poverty.

Fortunately, I’ve never been so down on my luck that I didn’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 wouldn’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 – 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.

Image of Valparaiso by: javier_diaz on Flickr

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 didn’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 weren’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 – both luxuries back then – 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. That’s usually a tough week. We didn’t really have the budget for it and certainly not the mandate – but how can you let anyone go hungry? People get weak and grumpy and confused when they’re hungry. That’s no fun.

So here’s my cheer for Rebecca and the surrey food bank. Let’s make sure people don’t go hungry!


Blogathon: Post #26 – Sponsor me to keep going for the Surrey Food Bank

3 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Hummingbird604Saturday, July 28th, 2007 — 6:46pm PDT

    Wow, that was a powerful entry. I agree, nobody should live with hunger. I am very happy that Miss604 chose to support the Surrey Food Bank. The thought of people living with hunger (particularly those afflicted with HIV/AIDS) made me volunteer to do the Blogathon for A Loving Spoonful.

    Thanks also to Miss604 for the post mentioning my blog 🙂 And yeah, the Simpsons was pretty funny. One day maybe you can explain to me the rest of the 18 seasons. 🙂

  2. MJ AnkenmanSaturday, July 28th, 2007 — 7:29pm PDT

    Isabella’s wish to participate in the blogathon next year made me think about one of the great things about blogging… connecting people and ideas. I’ve enjoyed checking in to see what the half hour blog is about. Mazybe we could do a group blogathon next year!!

  3. KeithTuesday, July 31st, 2007 — 12:03am PDT

    I’d be up for joining in a Vancouver (or former surrey-ite) blogathon next year… 🙂

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