Monday, July 4, 2016

Freedom from Want

As we celebrate Independence Day, it seems a good time to remember Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms:"
1.     Freedom of speech
2.     Freedom of worship
3.     Freedom from want
4.     Freedom from fear

The speech inspired Norman Rockwell's famous "Four Freedoms" paintings.  In my years working at Foodshare in Connecticut, we gave a print of this "Freedom from Want" painting to employees on their fifth anniversary.  I still have this iconic image hanging in my dining room.

Freedom from want has certainly been the major focus of my adult life, with more than thirty years at Foodshare and the last eighteen months at GardenShare.  While I believe we have made progress, it saddens me to know how many people in our great nation are still struggling with basic needs like putting food on the table for their children.  Here in St. Lawrence County, some of our local farmers are even among those struggling - they have food, but are barely scraping by otherwise.

GardenShare is working hard to connect the dots ... hunger, farming, the local economy, and the food system.  After thirty years in the world of charity food, I'm more convinced than ever that giving away food to people in need is never a solution.  It's a band-aid and we may need band-aids to help someone for the short-term, but we also need long-term solutions.

As you reflect on our freedoms this holiday, I hope you will also think about and remember that we still have some work to do!  And join us in that work at GardenShare!