Sunday, May 10, 2020
This Mother’s Day will be different for many mothers due to the Coronavirus. For example, with the need to maintain social distancing, I can’t visit my high-risk mother. My mother is the one who taught me the love of food and feeding people. Her teachings drive my work with Harry Chapin Food Bank.
During these days of the pandemic, my meals with my family are richer. Being Italian, I’ve always made most things from scratch, but somehow things taste different now. Not only are we eating out less, but we are also eating foods that we have grown in our garden, which is really satisfying! Often, my mind wonders to those who don’t have the resources to buy fresh produce. I’m grateful that my two beautiful babies are growing up eating high-quality nutritious food, but I’m also sad. And my sadness takes many forms. As a mother, my heart aches for innocent kids who are food insecure. These children’s bodies are trying to grow without proper nutrition to ensure optimal physical, mental, and social health and development. This makes me wonder if some of the kids who I see having a temper tantrum, are really reacting to hunger. As a mother, I wonder how these kids’ mothers feel, knowing that they are not able to feed their children. I try to put myself in that space and I dissolve into tears. The thought of not being able to give my precious Luca and Vittoria food, when they are hungry puts a pit into my stomach. I feel the mamma bear in me finding her roar – I would literally do anything and everything to meet their needs. My mind immediately wonders to Les Misérables when Jean Valjean stole a piece of bread. I know without a shadow of a doubt, I would do the same. I would go without so that my children don’t have to. Am I a hero? No, I am a mother. I am certain that thousands of mothers feel the same way and would do the same thing.
I am in awe. I am inspired by the determination of motherhood. I respect the mothers that I see waiting in car lines to get food. They are putting their pride aside to make sure that their children have healthy food. These moms are waiting in car lines so long they require local law enforcement to help with traffic control. There is that mamma bear roaring – thankfully not having to steal a piece of bread like Jean Valjean did but doing whatever she can to provide for her children.
Your food bank is grateful that we are providing for so many mothers. Thank you to all mothers. Our mothers leave an imprint on our lives. They teach us, they love us, and they provide for us. Your food bank is honored to help them do that.
In honor of mamma bears waiting in long car lines,
Barbara E. Evans
Chief Development Officer