Home > Getting missional > A week in their kitchen: looking through the eyes of crisis

A week in their kitchen: looking through the eyes of crisis

Thoughts of uncertainty and doubt entered my mind a gazillion times during the day.  Even hubby phoned once from work to express his doubt, but for better or worse, we were committed to this….

As we entered the food bank, we were greeted by one of the directors.   I asked him who, generally, would receive one of these emergency hampers.   He mentioned that emergency hampers are given to families in crisis; like loss of job etc.  He mentioned to me that most families who receive these hampers are working families.

He had just given me my lens by which I needed to see this experience: through the eyes of one in crisis.

If I was in crisis, it would be overwhelming to walk into a place like that at first.  It was very unfamiliar and…. scary.  What were people around me thinking as they watched me enter the building with baby in snuggly and preschooler in hand?  Were they judging me?

The volunteers were the most amazing, helpful, kind people.  They eased every bit of nervousness and made me feel like everything was going to be ok.  Their smiles were disarming.

We were led to a conveyer belt where volunteers just kept loading more and more food into boxes for us.  When we got to the end, I could not believe how much food there was!  A volunteer nicely packed it all into a cart which almost overflowed as we walked out to my van.  Once unloaded he told me where I was to go to pick up the produce.  “You mean there’s MORE??”, I thought.

As I drove home I couldn’t help but well up with tears.  Imagine what a blessing this would be for someone in crisis?   I honestly was expecting very little food.  When I saw how much we were given, it was overwhelming.  Someone in crisis would feel this all the more.  A depleted hamper would only feed their despair.  Being stocked to the brim would bring hope and possibly even courage to face what they would be driving home to.

When we got home, I put all the food out on the table so we could see just how much there was!  I wanted to take a picture.  As I unloaded the food onto the table, my son Ben was getting excited.   “FRUIT LOOPS!!”, he cried.   He never is allowed to buy fruit loops, so he was elated to see it in the pile.   And then I counted not 1, not 2, not even 3 but FOUR boxes of oreos!  Ben was in food hamper heaven.   I very quickly told him his limit was going to be 2 oreos a day.  I could imagine his vision of diving into a whole box!   That was all he needed to be sold on this whole hamper idea…..



For our family under strict dietary standards dictated by Sergeant Momma, this seemed like a party.  As I listened to my son burst with excitement (and me groan at the thought of Ben on all this sugar…), I couldn’t help but think how special this would be to a family in crisis.   Imagine children going through the unimaginable having their eyes brighten by 4 boxes of OREOS!   Those smiles would be breathtaking! (even if I don’t fully support that much sugar)

 (in this picture my son has the other box of oreos…)

People face crisis all the time.  It jumps out of nowhere at people just like you and I.   Who says that one of us may not, at one point in our lives, need and benefit from what the food bank serves?   I can tell you from witnessing first hand, and trying to walk in the light of empathy through this experience, that the food bank is CRITICAL and offering a much needed service to our city.

I know our hamper looks like a LOT of food.  I can’t deny I struggled with the amount.  But then this thought crossed my mind: “Would I want the food bank to be generous to those in crisis, or stingy?”   I’m thankful they have generous hearts…. and enough donations to allow them to do so.  At least today they did.  Tomorrow could be a different story.

I can see challenges already coming our way, which you will hear about this week.  Some I see clearly already, others will sneak up on me I’m sure.  I don’t want to give it all away in one blog.  Stay tuned.  Our adventure is just beginning…..

Categories: Getting missional
  1. Charlene Z
    May 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    One word…. WOW!!

  2. May 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Amazing! We have seen people in Africa – with nothing, then when I grew up in Hungary — what cupboards? and what food? To get a piece of meat – my mom had to go 5 in the morning to cue up once or at best twice a month – only when it was announced that there would be some meat available at the store — and hopefully get maybe one or two pounds — so she could cook a tasty chunky soup – gulyas – for a family of 10. And before I was born — to see a family of 9 people drive across war torn Hungary from east to west with 2 ricketty waggons and two horses pulling each of them – on muddy roads etc., and any food was on the waggons – a tub of Pork Lard – and some bread: and moving to hopefully a safer place than where they had to live through 2 world wars: What kind of hardships were they? – Extreme Hard times, Love from Dad Jakab

  3. Wendy Nilsen
    May 31, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Great post Connie! I think you should call the news to share your story of what you’re doing to help bring awareness in another light. What an awesome experience!

  4. June 1, 2011 at 1:22 am

    Seriously Connie. You rock my world. You are a maverick!

  5. June 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Hey Connie this is an interesting read.. are you trying to live life through someone in crisis? Love your posts, it’s almost like reading daily bread but on a more personal level.

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