I have spent a great part of my life feeding people. Great, not only in terms of years spent, but great in terms of the impact feeding others has had on me.
The journey of finding joy through food began in high school as I pushed carts and stocked shelves at a grocery store.
After entering the Air Force, I worked in food supply: unloading trucks, cutting produce, supplying clubs and dining halls, and shipping food to humanitarian operations in northern Iraq, to the Kurds in Iraq, and to people dying from feminine in Somalia.
It was in sharing the gift of grace of food and worship at Community of Hope that I experienced a second calling to ministry and dedicated my life to ministry with the poor.
Today, through the Healthy Eating and Living program, Community Development for All People provides 600,000+ pounds of food a year to a food insecure community and teach families every week how to make healthy meals for a family of four for under $5. Every Tuesday night at the Reeb Avenue Center hundreds of people gather for a community meal where relationships are formed and a community gathers.
When a person is vulnerable enough to put his knees under the table of someone different than themselves, mutuality is formed and relationships are created.
Today, the Hangry race series took this same step of building community.
On the surface, over 120 people gathered at a cold and beautiful Highbanks Metro Park to run four miles and to stand (run, walk?) against hunger. More than that, participants and sponsors raised funds that will be used to provide the Thanksgiving meal at the Roots Café. Taking a further step, racers were invited to come and follow their contribution and to be a part of the community. People signed up to prepare the meal and to eat with those who they have helped.
Something special happens around food. When shared, food becomes a gift of grace that fills hearts more than stomachs. Grace motivates the race director, Jonathan Flores, to create an event that makes a difference. Grace exudes from members of our community, like Molly Mustaqeem, who passionately shares the gift of abundant life she has experienced with others. Grace leads us to work to end hunger and in doing so we are the ones who are never the same again.
Oh, by the way, since this is a race report, I didn’t specifically train or prepare for this event and finished 14th overall and am happy with that.