Empty Bowls

 Steve Klein

 One of the main areas of concern for the Social Action Committee over the years has been food insecurity in our community. Food insecurity means a lack of consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living.

 In New York State, nearly one quarter of all households with children experience some level of food insecurity. What this means is that hunger is a reality for over 900,000 children in our state.

 This problem not only seriously impacts the health of these children, but also their eduction and, ultimately, their chances of success in life. Children who arrive hungry at school are at a physical, academic and social disadvantage compared to their well-nourished peers. This is a disadvantage than can impact them for the rest of their lives.

 To help with this problem, the committee has partnered with other social justice groups such as the Hunger Action Network for New York State (HANNYS) and Focus Churches of Albany to raise public awareness on these issues. It is through this grass roots strategy that we believe lasting and substantial change may be affected.

 Last fall, (then) congregational president Jodi Kerper and Steve Klein represented B’nai Sholom at the Empty Bowls fundraiser cosponsored by HANNYS and the Focus Churches. Other BSRC congregants volunteered to help prepare and serve food.   SAC members have attended events with local coalitions of religious and social justice groups at which many issues surrounding food insecurity and the minimum wage were the topics.

 In addition to these activities, BSRC provides volunteers to help with the Sunday Soup Kitchen run by Congregation Beth Emeth in Arbor Hill. As any of our man congregants who have volunteered there over the last few years can tell you, working at the soup kitchen is an enlightening and interesting experience. The people being served are appreciative and friendly.

 Finally,   we are always collecting non-perishable food, personal care items and baby items for the Regional Food Bank. Bins are in the school wing lobby and we would encourage everyone to bring items you would want to get if you were in need of assistance.

B'nai Sholom Albany NY