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  • Writer's pictureHunger-Free Pennsylvania

Be the Light in Your Community

The Book of Genesis doesn't get past the third verse before "God said 'Let there be light'". In Islam, An-Nur, meaning "The Light," is one of the names of Allah. Last month believers of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism observed Diwali-the festival of lights. This month, Jews light menorahs to celebrate Hanukkah while Christians decorate their homes and Christmas trees with colorful lights. Clearly, for people of faith - light is vital.

But be thee of little faith or no faith - if you've ever experienced a power outage, you quickly gain an appreciation of the importance of light. If you're like me, you stumble around to find the closest flashlight and hope that the batteries are fresh enough to provide illumination. We need light to find our way and to clearly see what we need to see.

When it comes to hunger and what must be done to end it - our elected officials need the light that only you can provide. They need to see what you see when it comes to our neighbors struggling to put food on their tables. When I think of our challenges and our possibilities, I remain inspired by President Kennedy's Inaugural Address- "The energy, faith, and devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country…and the glow from that fire can truly light the world." Our endeavor - to end hunger in Pennsylvania - has never been more important.

You are in a unique position to shed light on what's happening in your community. Please find opportunities to shine a spotlight on the work that happens at your organization, your cupboard, your pantry. Tell your elected officials why you do what you do; who volunteers to help; who needs help; what barriers you face providing this crucial nutritional assistance. When opportunities arise to focus a laser beam on specific governmental actions that can move us toward or away from food security for all - please let your light blaze.

Dennis P. McManus is a Hunger-Free Pennsylvania board member and Government Affairs Director for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. This post was originally shared on the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's Blog.

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