Supporting Meals for Seals

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Yesterday, I met up with Amber Depew, who serves as the co-chair of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Young Professionals for a check presentation.  During last December’s Jingle Mingle Holiday Party, our Young Professionals group decided to raise some needed funds for one of our valley’s charities.  Building upon their earlier highly-successful effort that supported the Panther Packs Program which is affiliated with the Milton Schools, they decided to throw this round of support behind another very-important youth nutrition program.

Earlier this week, at the Selinsgrove Area Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, Amber presented Chamber President (and owner of The Cottage of Pine) Helen Walter an oversized check in the amount of $250 to be used in support of the Meals for Seals Program.  This is the youth nutrition program which affiliates with the Selinsgrove Area School District.  Job well done to all of our Young Professionals for your generosity and thank you to Helen and to everyone who works with this important program to make sure that our area’s young people are both well-nourished and well-educated.

During the hubbub of the check presentation (I served as the official photographer), I couldn’t help to think a little bit about hunger and its impact on our valley.  Did you know that in every school district in the Greater Susquehanna Valley (there are 13 districts in total) there are large numbers of students who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches?  What’s more, in some districts the percentage of students who qualify for this program is larger than those who don’t qualify.

What this really means is that ‘food insecurity’ is a big issue, right here.  While it would be tempting to try to explain away or make up some excuse for why this is happening, the truth is that the answer is very complex.  In fact, it’s so complicated that I would suggest that if a person proposes an easy answer—they probably don’t actually understand the problem.
The US Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.  This definition goes on to suggest that this insecurity is rooted in disruptions to food intake and eating patterns caused by a lack of money or other resources.  You and I might understand food insecurity as simply, “not knowing where your next meal might be coming from.”

For now, our thanks to the Young Professionals and to each person who works to make sure that young people (Selinsgrove Seals, in this case) have a good idea what they will be eating for their next nutritious meal.  Also, a hearty thanks to Art Thomas and the good people at MeckTech/Diversified Construction for sponsoring December’s Jingle Mingle and making this fundraising effort even possible.
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