May, a Month of Celebrations, New Beginnings, and of Possibilities

 

May, a Month of Celebrations, New Beginnings, and of Possibilities!
Meredith Knopp

May is a month of celebrations – of new beginnings – and of possibilities. From celebrations such as May 4th – “May the fourth be with you” to Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day to the first day of summer – it is a time when the flowers are blooming (because April showers bring May flowers) and people look forward to getting outside again. Graduations and weddings are abundant on weekends and there are smiles on children’s faces as they know that the end of the school year is in sight.

This week I was at an event talking about food insecurity, and someone stopped me in my tracks as we talked about the weather – not because that’s just what we do in St Louis, but rather, because she used the month of May as the word “may”, instead of just the month. She said, “that is St Louis for you – it MAY be sunny – it MAY rain- it MAY be 90 degrees – or it MAY be 30 degrees, you just never know”. After a shared laugh, we sat down for the event, and I could not help but think about what she just said and think about this from the lens of our work at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

When you think of the word “may” it is defined by possibilities – what may happen or occur, or what may be possible. This truly resonates with me as we have had to navigate some challenging times with the pandemic, and waters with the floods last fall, and continue to navigate our current state of economic uncertainty and inflation. However, despite all the challenges, there is tremendous resiliency, commitment, and prospective because of these shared experiences about what “may” be possible in the aftermath.

I reflect about the learnings both as an organization and personally from the pandemic, and while I pray we never have to endure something like this again, we have emerged stronger. We learned how to adapt, how to overcome, and what we may not do in the future. I still remember my daughter (age 7 at the time) asking me back in March of 2020, “Well, what did you do last time this happened Mommy?” and my feeble response, “there wasn’t a last time sweetie, so if I seem like I am not exactly sure what I am doing, it’s because I may not – so give me a little grace?” and without missing a beat she said, “OOOOOOOH – that explains a lot”. Leave it to our children to serve as our ultimate prospective setters. 😊

As I look towards our future at the St Louis Area Foodbank there is much to be excited about. We have new opportunities to expand our programs into new communities, we have new collaborations for our Ending Hunger team to help with more holistic support such as Medicaid, WIC, and LIHEAP, and we may have a long line of innovations, opportunities, and collaborations with other incredible organizations to truly transform our region in the queue.

None of us can predict the future – nor control it. However, we can focus on how we can make our region stronger and better tomorrow because of our decisions and actions today. I know firsthand the commitment of our team members, our Board of Directors, our volunteers, our partners and that of the many new team members joining Team Foodbank. While we don’t know the specifics, we are optimistic about what the future may look like!

Join us today by volunteering, donating, hosting a food drive, engaging with our new “Friends of the Foodbank” group, or just sharing events, happenings, and opportunities from our social media channels to yours. I know that when you do, this may just bring a smile to your face and change the life of someone around you.

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