Once again this month, the white marble of the state Capitol Building will be cast in an orange glow to mark “Hunger Action Month” in Pennsylvania.
While the lights aren’t new, the pattern is. Usually, the state flicks the switch for the orange lights and leaves them on for a few weeks at a time, or at least for several consecutive days.
But shining the Capitol in different colors to spotlight a cause has become a popular tradition in Harrisburg, meaning it’s not easy to get all the dates you want.
To help raise awareness for Pennsylvania’s millions of food-insecure residents, the state will turn on the first orange light on Sept. 8, which is Hunger Action Day nationwide. Then, the lights will switch to another color, for other causes, before returning to orange on Sept. 14 and then again on Sept. 16-17.
Sure, things a bit more sporadic this time around. But that’s OK.
The new approach helps us understand better the fight against hunger. Many families can’t put a healthy meal on the table day in, day out, for consecutive days. Or, they may not know which day they’ll have enough food for their family, or for how many weeks they can do it.
So, in a way, the new approach with the Capitol lights actually reflects more the challenges our residents face, and reminds us how much more we have to do.