Hunger Awareness Challenge – Day 5

Day # 5 – September 23rd

Did the food last all 5 days?
Actually, I did have some food let over, it was a few canned goods, meat and bread. This would be a result of self-rationing the first few days of the challenge.
The Agape Centre was generous in the food that was given out; this would be the response to the fact that they have generous corporate and private donors.

How has this experience changed your way of thinking and looking at hunger?
Not to repeat some of the observations from previous posts, I will attempt to summarize.
The hunger issue is so much more than simply filling empty stomachs, this is what is visible and maybe most easily remedied through donations.
There is a hunger for companionship and to have their story heard.
A hunger for the healing of a past situation or setback.
Too often when we are on the outside looking in, we don’t bother to take the time to understand or listen, we just assume and move on.

What have you learned?
Every deserves the dignity of feeling safe and loved and this requires us to step outside our own comfortable place and be risk getting involved, seeing a different point of view, and maybe even being moved to change.
We are all good with change as long as it is someone else doing the changing, but to truly solve the issue of hunger, homelessness and marginalization, it is the people who feel that they do not have to change that need to do the most changing.

What have I learned that there is still so much work and awareness that needs to be done.
We need to keep the conversation going…

Hunger Awareness Challenge – Day # 4

Day # 4 – September 22nd

Have you spent any of your $10 grocery allowance? If yes, on what?
What is the hardest part of the challenge?

I did not make a special trip to the grocery store to spend the $10, I did use some green onions in a supper, so I guess I spent maybe a $1.00.

The hardest part of the challenge would be best answered through some observations:
– Stamina: I knew that I only needed to experience this for five days, so it is easier to get through the discomfort, during the five days I did not have any family or public celebrations or get-together that would have any social conventions attached.
– Comfort: I went about my days pretty normal except for my meals, and even them I did not have to worry about how I was going to prepare them, I had access to everything I needed to ensure that I could enjoy the best meal possible.
My daily schedule was minimally disrupted but was also a distraction to some food boredom and changes.
– Safety: I had a warm safe place to stay each and every night, i may have been hard to deal for the challenge if I needed to use additional energy to keep warm or walk around.
– Companionship: I did have an awareness of being separated, not being able to enjoy what others were enjoying, eating something different or not being able to join in.

All these are tolerable for five days … but as an ongoing concern they become another issue to contend with.

Hunger Awareness Challenge – Day #3

Day #3 – September 21st

Are the limited food choices affecting your physical or emotional health? If so, how?

The limited food choices seem to be affecting my emotional health noticeably more than my physical health. After Tuesday it became clear that with the food provided, I would not be hungry, and this Hunger challenge would be more of a mental challenge than it would be a hungry challenge.
Those of us that have not experienced the setbacks in life that would require us to seek out the service of food banks and soup kitchens, do not understand that most of our homes have small scale grocery stores in our own pantry, freezer and fridges.

The limited food choices changed the comfort foods or eating routines that I take for granted and reach for.
How often do we reach for a quick bite of something to relax or get a quick boost of energy or comfort? or maybe we change up dinner or head to a drive thru to satisfy a craving or whim.

Over the past few days, I did notice how we much advertising we receive for fast food, just today alone I found six coupon books in the mailbox. Pretty sure, these would not be the best use of my $10.


Hunger Awareness Challenge – Day #2

Day #2 – September 20th

What types of conversations are you having with friends, family and co-workers about what you’re experiencing and the challenge you are doing?

Typically, the conversations start off as explaining what the challenge is and the why, but it turns very quickly to the how.
What foods do you have? …. only that…. I could not live without having (fill in your blank).
This is where the reality sets in, we then talk about ways to extend the rules, how to make what we have go further and maybe how we can find a way to get more of what we want without anyone seeing or knowing.
A common statement is that at least it is only for five days … then you can go back to normal.

This is because we have not faced this situation in our own lives, and actually this challenge is tolerable because there is a limited timeframe … five days.
but what if there was no limited time offer, short term, what if this was your new normal.

The conversations change from talking about what people see to what they do not see.

Reach out to me if you would like to have a conversation …..

to be continued….

Agape Centre Hunger Awareness Challenge 2022 – Day #1

Day 1 – September 19th
What motivated you to accept the challenge? We all have an idea that there is a food insecurity present in our world, country and community; we have been hearing about it since the 1980’s with the Live Aid and TV commercials. This programmed us to go on about our daily lives believe that the issue was far away and sending money and aid will resolve the problem.
We believe that with all our modern technologies comforts, how can this be happening now in 2022, life is fast paced and has outpaced the income levels; online connections have replaced personal connections, so we now just see an issue to be solved and not the people affected by the issue.
We stopped talking so we do not know the stories behind the people living in our community facing these everyday struggles.
We need to learn about the people going through these challenges and treat them, not as an inconvenience but as a reminder of what our true purpose is … To love and to be loved.

How do you feel about having to eat from a limited supply of Food?
This is most likely more of my motivation to do the challenge … it is easy to say the words that people expect to hear, but it is another thing to experience the loss of freedom and choice.
Just going through the food bank and being guided through to choose 2 of these, or any three of these limited choices, was eye opening.
On the outside looking in, we can say that “at least they are getting food.”
What was most apparent was the disconnect between what is available in the grocery store, what advertisers tell us what we need to make us happy and what is available or priced out beyond our means.
We have been conditioned to see Hunger as empty stomachs being fed, but there is also a hunger for choice, acceptance and the social convention that we have adopted as necessary in our society today.

Hunger Challenge 2022

Every year, The Agape Centre invites supporters to participate in the Hunger Awareness Challenge to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in our community.

From September 19th to September 23rd, Deacon Guy will be taking on the 2022 Agape Hunger Awareness Challenge as well as fundraising for the Agape Centre foodbank while eating items chosen from our foodbank.

This means: a few bags of groceries from the foodbank, eating lunches from the soup kitchen if needed and a $10 grocery allowance to spend on any extras he might need.
This campaign brings awareness to the issue of hunger and helps our community better understand how we serve our clients.

So how does it work?

FOOD

On September 15th or 16th, Deacon Guy will visit the Agape foodbank and pick out his groceries for the week.

During that week he will follow a set of rules to make the experience as real as possible.

Rules:

He can only eat and use the following supplies.

  1. Items you pick out of the foodbank
  2. Any items he buys with the $10 grocery allowance (provided by the Agape Centre)
  3. And 10 pantry staples (oil, butter, spices) that he may already have at home to supplement your meals
  1. He is welcome to use our soup kitchen any weekday for a hot meal from 11:30am – 1:30pm
  2. He cannot eat out at restaurants, stop to eat at a friend’s or family members for dinner. This is a privilege many of our clients can’t afford or don’t have access to.

FUNDRAISING

During Hunger Awareness Week, Agape Centre asks the Hunger Champions to fundraise for our foodbank.
Use whatever method feels most comfortable to you. In previous years participants have collected cash donations, Facebook’s

fundraising option and grocery store gift cards.

donate via e-transfer they can do so by sending it to us directly at

accounts@agapecentre.ca and leaving a message stating which champion they are supporting. Ex: “Donation to the

2022 Hunger Awareness Challenge in support of Deacon Guy”

Deacon Guy will have a pledge sheet to track tax receipts.
Donations of $20 or more with complete name and

address will be issued a tax receipt.

SHARING

To help raise awareness, Deacon Guy will be sharing his experience and encourage donations by sharing your meals

and impressions. Sharing what you are doing not only helps start conversations on the issue of hunger, it also

provides an opportunity for supporters to understand what they are donating to.

Check out www.thedeaconguy.ca , each day of the week Deacon Guy will be answering daily questions to get the conversation on hunger started.

Remember that Loving God, loving your Neighbour and Leaving Peace is best lived out through the Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy.

We are each called by our Baptism to live and support these acts and the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love.

Peace,

DG

August 10th 2022 – 2nd Anniversary of Ordination

Today as I begin my day, I am reminded that this is a special day. Today I celebrate my 2nd anniversary of ordination.
I am sure that for most men, as they enter into the life of a permanent deacon, they can feel overwhelmed. Luckily over the last two years, I think everyone has felt overwhelmed by everything that has occurred.
Most days I am able to remind myself of the two statements that help me maintain my diaconal identity.
1) Each time I prepare myself to proclaim the Gospel, I repeat the words that the Bishop spoke to me at my ordination: ” Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you new are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”
2) My mission is to bring the poor to the Church and the Church to the poor.

Today is a good day to reflect on how am I living out the 7 CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY:

1. Feed the hungry.
2. Give drink to the thirsty.
3. Clothe the naked.
4. Shelter the homeless.
5. Visit the sick.
6. Visit the imprisoned.
7. Bury the dead.

Taking a moment…

it has been a busy few weeks … maybe months …
winding down Lent, running through Holy Week and ramping up the Easter season.
The parish has been busy, work keeps going and home is always exciting.

When the life schedule gets all jumbled, I find myself retreating into some prayer time and podcasts …. one inspiring podcast was a ‘Pints with Aquinas’ that feature Matt Fradd speaking with Ralph Martin.
This prompted the purchase of two of his books, “A Church in Crisis” & ‘The Fulfillment of all Desire”.
Currently I am working my way through, ” A Church in Crisis”, at the point where the author points out the two biggest lies of the devil, the deception that made their way into the church.
– the assumption that almost everyone will be saved because God is so merciful.
– the assumption that sexual sins that were once considered gravely sinful are no longer so in light of “new knowledge” about sexuality.

The author then points to the idea that if hell is real and many people go there, and if our decisions in the area of sexuality indeed have eternal consequences, then we had better start taking it seriously ourselves and telling people that.

This has to make us think ….