This is a hard post for me to do.  I sit here, asking do I hit that publish button?
Gluten Free Girl and the Chef have done a recent post about Christmas.  About Christmas and the appreciation of food.  Also, putting forth the idea of giving to food banks, giving to the hungry.  Then Shauna asked, have you ever gone hungry and would you like to share your story? I read the post, and then I read the post again.  Then I wondered.  Can I speak of this? Can I write about this? It brought back a lot of memories. It brought back some painful times.
I did not leave a comment.  At that moment, I could not do it. I have been giving thought to this question, much of the day.
Then today, in our weekly local paper, we received a brown paper bag.  It is from our local Fire Hall’s Food Drive.  It is called FIREFIGHTER FOOD DRIVE BAG, SANTA CLAUSE IS COMING TO TOWN.

This yearly event, is one in which our local Fire Trucks are decked out in lights, with Santa sitting on top of the Fire Truck, siren blaring, going through the neighbourhoods, as people rush out to the trucks, to give the paper bag full of foods for the hungry.
I participate every year, whether broke or abundant, I participate every year. You see, I have to.  I am obliged to.  So, to answer Shauna's question, yes, as a teenager, I went hungry. Without going into too much detail, in my early teens, I lost my mother.  Then my father became sick.  I had five siblings to care for.  When the groceries got low, my siblings came first.
By the time I was in my late teens to early 20’s, I had steady work, still cared for two of my siblings….we never, not ever, went hungry again.  I made a vow,…no matter what my situation, I would give to the hungry each year.  No one in this world should go hungry. We are an amazing, abundant planet..despite finances, despite politics, despite money issues, despite anything – no one on this planet anywhere should ever go hungry.  Yes, I participate each year…I will do so always…one can of tuna, one can of soup, one can of beans, means a child does not go hungry.  Yes, I participate, and feel humbled to do so.  For me, it is just not about giving….it is a responsibility.  It is my sincerest wish that one day, every person, whether man, woman or child, goes to bed with a full tummy, wakes up to another day of whole, nutritious food, never ever to go hungry again.  Thank you Shauna and the Chef...this was a hard question for me to answer, but, I am glad I did.

Ina Gawne


  1. I love you Ina, your honesty is so heartwarming. I always donate too, no matter how bare our cupboards seem we can always find a little something to share. Thanks so much! Karen

  2. That must have been hard to share, Ina. There is a lot that people take for granted, until they go without. We sponsor a child through Compassion and when I can, I send a little extra for the family...I usually hear back that they were able to buy food for the family, or shoes for the's always humbling to get those letters.

    1. Thanks Erin, it was initially, but then I am glad I shared my story. Bless you for sponsoring a child through Compassion, the more we all can do, if only a little bit, the better the world will be. 🙂

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December 15, 2010