(This article first appeared in the October issue of the Anglican Journal.)
“For food and friends and all God sends, we give our thanks and praise.” That simple but lovely grace is best sung as a round at a potluck supper or a gathering of family and friends. Many of us will be blessed to share in such a meal on Thanksgiving weekend.
Throughout history, including in the scriptures themselves, celebrations of every kind are marked by an abundance of food. Thanksgiving is a time for us to think about all who are engaged in food production and distribution-all who till and seed and harvest the land, all who package, prepare and present food. To our delight and gratitude, Thanksgiving is also a time to be mindful of those who are in want of good and nutritious food; a time to remember all those who rely on food banks to feed their children and themselves; a time to give thanks for all who generously stock the shelves and those who cheerfully distribute the food.
Thanksgiving is a time for the whole church to think not only about food aid but also food security. As my friend Simon Chambers, communications co-ordinator for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, has written: “Food aid is about giving starving people something to eat…right now, so they will live to see tomorrow…put simply, food security means having enough healthy food for yourself and for your family for the long term.”
Next month PWRDF will launch a campaign to raise awareness of issues related to food security and funds to address them. I encourage every parish across our church to be engaged in this campaign. We have much to learn and we have much to offer.
As president of the PWRDF board and spokesperson for this campaign, I will be starting conversations around the slogans “It’s all about food” and “It’s good to be full of beans.”
Insofar as such statements invite comments and provoke conversations about food aid and food security, I am glad-for surely that is what Christ calls us to be about: daily bread or beans or rice or corn, not only for a day but for a lifetime.