Plates With Purpose


A volunteer writes a very important message to be delivered to Washington D.C. / Photo by Bethany Prange

Paper plates are commonly associated with summer barbecues, office potlucks and those nights that we simply don’t want to do dishes.

However, during Hunger Action Month in September, paper plates took on a much greater purpose.  They served as a canvas for our volunteers to express their thoughts and concerns about hunger.

People of all ages and different walks of life wrote out their messages and turned them in to our volunteer coordinator, Will.

From there, we took all the collected plates, split them up four ways and put them in the mail to the four United States senators that represent the states we serve – Missouri and Illinois.

Our hope is that when Sen. Claire McCaskillSen. Roy BluntSen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Mark Kirk receive their packages in the mail, the plates will serve as a visual reminder of how important it is to act on behalf of those going hungry in both states.

It is far too easy to believe that hunger is not happening to citizens in the states they represent.

Hunger is not something that most people like to talk about, but it is something more legislators should be talking about.

Not surprisingly, hunger is often tied to unemployment. While Missouri is slightly under the national average, Illinois’ rate of 9.1 percent is more than a full percentage point higher than the national average.

Those numbers don’t even take into account those people that have become so discouraged that they have stopped looking for work.

Hunger is an issue that can be resolved.  There is more than enough food in this country for those who are food insecure.

However, if the food doesn’t get into the hands of the people who need it most, the meal gap will never be closed.

We need the help of those in power, both on the state and national level, to end hunger for good.  Hunger is a bipartisan issue and I think both parties would agree that no one should go hungry in America.

These plates let our senators know that food insecurity is a priority for those fighting hunger on the front lines and it should be a priority for them as well.

What better way to convey that message than on a vessel that has delivered food to so many American’s tables?

Ryan FarmerRyan Farmer is the communications manager at the St. Louis Area Foodbank



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