Open Arms of Minnesota

SNAP Challenge: Thanksgiving

By Kay Mitchell

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the end of the SNAP challenge for me and for my Open Arms friends. There is irony in ending a week of conscious food planning and scarcity with the most abundant holiday of the year.

As a part of the team that raises the dollars to create the meals that feed our clients, I value the ingredients that go together to bring nutrition and hope and comfort to those who need it, so Thanksgiving is filled with more conscious gratitude this year for me. I am thankful for the hundreds of turkeys and fixings that our clients will prepare and share with their families and friends, as well as the freshly prepared meals that we will be delivering to hundreds of clients who chose that option. I am truly thankful for all of the volunteers who swell our ranks daily, making it possible for us to prepare and deliver nutritious, delicious food to all seven counties in the Twin Cities area.

Thanksgiving is a warm family day focused on food and friends and comfort– a little like every day at Open Arms aspires to be. Yet our Thanksgiving feast will be haunted by our neighbors who are on the SNAP program every week … do they have a turkey and the fixings from a food shelf? Are they going to a congregate meal at a center or church? And what about tomorrow and the day after that?

Food justice is an issue that touches the heart as well as the stomach, and once you acknowledge that it exists around us everywhere, you have changed the way you see food forever.

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