The Bad News — Hunger exists everywhere in America. It does not matter if you live in an urban, suburban or rural setting - hunger has no boundaries. In 2008, the percentage of people in Jacksboro living in poverty was 14.9 percent, in 2009 it was 17.3 percent, and in 2011 it was 18.2 percent.
The rates of food insecurity among rural households are generally slightly higher than the national average. The irony is that many of these food-insecure households are in the very rural and farm communities whose productivity feeds the world and provides low-cost wholesome food for American consumers.
Challenges facing rural areas differ from metro/urban areas in several significant ways.
Employment is more concentrated in low-wage industries; unemployment and under employment are greater; education levels are lower; work-support services, such as flexible and affordable child care and public transportation, are less available; and the rural marketplace offers less access to communication and transportation networks.
Regarding the eldery, the number of older adults is projected to increase over the next decade and continue to rise in the following decade. In 2040 there will be 79.7 million older adults, more than twice as many as in 2000. These changing demographics will have a profound impact on the demand for social services, especially the need for adequate and culturally appropriate nutrition services.
Seniors have unique nutritional needs and challenges that separate them from the rest of the population and must be considered.
Regarding children, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 15.9 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life. Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children due to their increased vulnerability and the potential for long-term consequences.
One of the most common misconceptions is the assumption that if someone is hungry, that means they do not have a job and are living on the streets. What most people don’t understand is that anyone can experience hunger. It is a silent epidemic that affects over 50 million Americans. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2010, 21 million people lived in working-poor families.
Jacksboro is not immune; we have hungry people who are unable to provide food for themselves. We cannot allow a misperception to deceive us into believing this plight of hunger is not our responsibility. While there are many denominational homes in Jacksboro, there is one God whom we all serve, and they all belong to Him.
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.
Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
The Good News — Jacksboro Community Food Pantry distributes food to the needy from God’s house the third Monday of each month from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. A two page application and two proofs of residency are required, financial eligibility is then assessed. Once qualifications have been determined, they are given a five day supply of breakfast/lunch/dinner suited specifically for the household based on number of eligible family members and their ages.
If you have questions or concerns about any part of the process, please do not hesitate to call Sheri Kettlety at 580-369-0889. One hundred percent of your donations sent to JCFP at PO Box 574, Jacksboro, Texas 76458 are being utilized to feed residents of Jack County with 97 percent of them residing in Jacksboro.