If this special advertisement for food for seven meals for only $1 appeared in the paper, there would be a line of people around the block waiting to make a purchase.

The good news is that such a purchase can actually be made; The Food Bank of East Alabama can purchase that much food for only a dollar.

An urgent request was mailed to us from the Food Bank this last week because the Food Bank needs your dollars in order to make these purchases.

The economy is improving, but it is still not good. Families are being squeezed tighter every day, and some way must be found to feed the hungry who live right here in Opelika.

The people who are forced to ask for help from the Food Bank may surprise you because some are the ones we work with, we go to church with and our children play with.  Most who have to ask for help are working at some job.

Hunger is everywhere. In the seven-county-area served by the Food Bank of East Alabama, it is estimated that 18,845 children face hunger every day. Add to that number the children who are members of households that are food-impaired, but who do not ask for help.

Seventeen million people here in our country are worried about where their next meal is coming from. It is hard for the mind to accept a picture of that many people being hungry.

It is also hard for you to imagine that you and your family could be added to that number.  The pantry is empty and so is the refrigerator. Now that it was empty, the freezer was unplugged last week to save energy. It doesn’t take long after you lose your job to find yourself in such a predicament.

As the cost of gasoline rises, many families are forced to take this additional gasoline cost from their food budget allotment which makes it harder and harder for some families to get enough to eat. Hungry men and women are not productive; hungry children cannot perform well in school.

Economist continue to use the phrase “one flat tire away from bankruptcy” and many families are in that position. There is no money to cover unexpected circumstances and that includes gasoline prices that are soaring.

In a recent issue of this paper, Cliff McCollum had an excellent column, “Paying Your Civic Rent,” in which Mr. McCollum reminded all of us that our civic rent was due.

In defense of the general public, many Opelikans have simply enjoyed all that Opelika has to offer without once even thinking that civic rent was due. Now that we have been reminded, Opelikans will step up and take responsibility.

There is no better way that you can pay your civic rent than to become involved in projects that are dedicated to removing hunger from our community.

Volunteer at your local food bank. Call Director Martha Henk and she will find a way you can help.

The Food Bank of East Alabama can now receive additional money when you contribute.  The Alan Feinstein Foundation, interested in promoting community participation in hunger alleviation, has deposited a million dollars in a challenge grant in which our food bank can benefit.  This is not a matching grant but the proceeds will be proportionately distributed.

There are probably many ways that you would like to have your city known, such as “Opelika the most beautiful city,” or “Opelika, the cleanest city,” or “Opelika, the friendliest city.” Or even better, “Opelika, where there is no hunger.”

Please do your part. Mail your contribution to: Food Bank of East Alabama, 375 Industry Drive, Auburn, AL 36832-4274


Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at opelikaobserver@att.net This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .