by Vernita Kennen
2016 is a Leap Year and we get one extra day in February. Have you given thought to what you might do with or on that extra day? While February 29 is a workday for many of us, the thought of an “extra” day to do God’s work of ending hunger is an intriguing one. Here are some possibilities:
- As you pray before meals, be thoughtful about all the people who were involved in bringing that meal to you - growers, transportation folks, manufacturers, bakers, store clerks, moms and so on. Give thanks for all the hands who worked on your behalf. And remember to pray for those who will not eat as well as you will.
- As we are in the midst of the season of Lent, consider “Meatless Mondays” during the month of March. By planning carefully, you can still get enough protein for your family with recipes using legumes and dairy. Donate the money saved by not eating meat to an organization working to end hunger.
- Educate yourself by reading a book or viewing a good resource on hunger and poverty during the season of Lent. Make this part of your Lenten discipline, starting on Leap Day. (I’m reading The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the Twenty-First Century by David Rieff.)
- Make an extra effort to learn about all the ways in which your congregation works to end hunger and poverty. List them, celebrate them, and find ways to publicize them to encourage others to get involved. Try out one new to you!
- Write a letter to one of your legislators in Washington, asking them to continue to keep the needs of people who live with hunger and poverty in their minds as they work on the budget for the coming year. Let them know you care about people not only here in the U.S. but globally. If you are represented by McCollum, Emmer, Ellison, Walz, Nolan or Paulson in the House of Representatives, thank them for cosponsoring the Global Food Security Act.