Perhaps more than any other holiday, Thanksgiving is about overindulgence.
For one day, we set aside our trendy diets, break out the comfortable pairs of pants, make sure the belt is loosened or left at home altogether, and settle in for a day-long food-fest. By the end of it, whether from the tryptophan from the turkey or the copious amounts of desserts we force down at the end of the night after having had more than our share of victuals, our bodies are ready to enter the sweet slumber of a food-coma.
Friday is when we awake and swear to live a more health-conscious lifestyle … at least until the end of December.
But while many families take for granted the abundance that fills up their dinner tables every holiday, as well as the ability to fill up on love and laughter with the people who mean the most to them, there are those who dread this time of year. Instead of wondering how they’ll fit all that delicious food into their stomachs, these people are worried about how to provide for a simple family meal.
Forget about a Thanksgiving feast. For some, this Thursday will be just another day of trying to figure out how, exactly, to put some food on the table.
Every year at this time, The Cheshire Herald encourages all to think about those less fortunate and to give what they can to make the holiday season a little more festive and comfortable for others. It may seem like we are playing a broken record, but it’s absolutely a song that needs to be sung over and over again. For those of us who are fortunate to be planning our big day of feast and festivities, there must be some time set aside to remember that many are struggling at the moment and in need of a helping hand.
That’s especially true in 2022.
When COVID-19 hit in the winter of 2020, almost every American received a glimpse into what it is like to suffer from what is commonly now called “food insecurity.” For many, checks stopped coming for a while, or their paychecks were slashed to make up for the dramatic loss of income caused by the immediate restrictions imposed as a reaction to the pandemic. There were less items on the shelves from which to choose, and some items just seemed to disappear overnight for a time.
As the country has slowly begun to rebound, many have been left behind. Their businesses never reopened. Their jobs never came back into being.
Suddenly, thousands, even millions of Americans have been added to the list of those wondering how to make ends meet.
Now, while the pandemic has faded into the background, the issue of inflation has come to the forefront. Everything costs significantly more now than it did just a year ago, and many families are forced to make the very real decision between a Thanksgiving dinner and a half-tank of heating oil they hope can warm their homes enough to last most of the winter.
According to a recent survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the cost for the average Thanksgiving meal for an American family promises to be 20% higher than it was last year. Those are real costs for everyone, but especially debilitating for families that have just barely kept their heads above financial waters these past few years.
All of this is to say that, while the need for donations is always high, it comes with even more urgency this year. More people are struggling. More families need assistance. More of our neighbors need our help.
The pandemic was a wake-up call for all of us. The future isn’t guaranteed to anyone, and just because life is providing for a Thanksgiving feast today doesn’t mean it will tomorrow or next year. If you have the ability, make your donations today. Be that helping hand reaching out to someone in need. You never know when you’ll need a hand yourself.