Hunger Calls Us Once More Unto The Breach

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Imagine this: The nation turns to a young soldier in its hour of need and asks him to go back to Afghanistan for the third time. But he’s tired. It’s inconvenient. We’re not making much progress. So he says, “No. Let someone else do it. I’m tapped out.”

Fortunately for this nation, that’s not how the men and women dedicated to protecting our liberties have reacted these past 10 years, when they have gone time and again unto the breach.

Well, no one’s shooting at us here at home — and we don’t have to check every intersection for bombs. But still, the call has come down once again for each of us here to rally to the defense of the country we love.

Answer this question: What country do you wish to live in?

Is it a country where some children can’t get enough to eat, through no fault of their own?

Is it a country where some hungry students can’t concentrate — and parents sort through dumpsters to feed their families?

Payson Area Food Drive starts

If not, then it’s time to once more answer the call of love and country — and donate now to the Payson Area Food Drive.

For the third winter in a row, many of our neighbors face a bleak season without enough to eat. For the third winter in a row, our food banks will not have enough to meet this terrible need without an extraordinary outpouring of community support.

So this week, good-hearted people who cannot stand to live in a community where some children might go hungry have launched a food drive, hoping the Rim Country community as a group will donate 55,000 pounds of food and $30,000.

So we are called to serve another tour of duty to meet this inexorable need. Every quarter for the past two years, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank has given out 2,000 food boxes to 5,500 people.

Yes, some of these are the same people who find themselves time and again without the food to feed their family, but that does not change the need. Many of these are part of the 10 percent of Gila County and Rim Country residents who are out of work due to a sluggish economy.

This year, the demand remains as great as ever, but outside help has dwindled. Normally, local food banks can count on help from the much larger and better-supplied food banks in the Valley. Those food banks are struggling to meet their own needs.

Moreover, statistics from the school district demonstrate a rise in poverty rates among the working families with school-age children who have remained in Rim Country, stretching every resource to cling to their lives here in hopes of the turnaround.

So it’s on us, even more than last year.

We pray that you will once again answer the call. Last year, you donated 47,000 pounds of food and $27,000. This year, we need all of that and more.

So please drop off donations at marked collection boxes all over town — including all the supermarkets.

Location of food banks

You can also go directly to the food banks including St. Vincent de Paul at 511 S. Saint Philips St., and the Community Presbyterian Church at 800 W. Main St. You will also find a collection booth at the Nov. 5 Health Fair at Julia Randall Elementary School, or mail checks to P.O. Box 1317, Payson, AZ 85547.

Living in Rim Country, we have each been showered with blessings. Living in this country, we have seen those blessings redoubled.

But to those who have received so much, much is then expected.

So now, we must rally once again to meet the needs of this, our beloved community. And we must answer that call, as surely as those weary young men and women on the ramparts of our freedom must gather their packs and resume patrol.

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