When we began working on our Paper Plate Campaign I wasn’t sure what response to expect or how willing people would be to share their personal stories. Over the past month though; we have collected over 700 plates from sixteen of our partner agencies here in Central Florida.
We have asked our neighbors who are receiving food assistance to share exactly what this food means to them and their families. Many people have shared the importance of food stamps for their families and how the emergency food they receive at pantries helps get them through the end of the month. Some families have even shared pieces of their stories which have led them to rely on help from others.
Each plate has been unique and filled with such emotion and sincerity. The voices displayed on the plates represent children as young as eight years old to senior citizens well into their seventies.
I was personally able to visit one of our partner agencies, Loaves and Fishes, and ask those waiting in line for food assistance if they would like to fill out a plate. It was amazing to see the gratitude on someone’s face from simply letting them know that we would like their individual voice to be heard.
One of the recurring themes on many plates is how long periods of unemployment have pushed families into food pantries. One plate sums up what so many have said: “Food is a necessity not a luxury. When facing long periods of time unemployed, food stamps are an assistance that provides a way to be able to purchase food. A bad situation is hard to deal with without food”.
At the end of October our CEO, Dave Krepcho, will be delivering all of the plates we have received to our Senators offices here in Orlando.
Slideshow of our Paper Plate Campaign: