Posted on October 27, 2022
As the director of FCCMP, I find myself saying the phrase “on the ground impact” a lot. I find it simply captures the heart of our work. It says the work we do is more than a concept, more than an idea about impacting people. What we do and see and live every day of the week is real people, on the ground who come to our programs because they need us. But even this doesn’t paint the whole picture because on the ground impact is not about some people providing resources to people who receive resources- it is really about all of us!
We all need each other and on the ground impact is what comes of the way we show up for each other in our community. In Franklin County, we are showing up for each other to build a thriving community for all. We are calling in our business community, we are inviting individuals and families, we are working with our churches, our social groups, our schools, foundations, granting agencies, and our neighbors, to develop community. To ensure real life on the ground impact. In the face of scarcity, of challenge, of uncertainty, we know we have resources abounding. We know that a community is a wellspring of abundance that when tapped into feeds and nourishes itself. But it must be tapped into. The impact we have is dependent on what we do, on how we show up.
Over the past few weeks, we have begun to grapple with food shortages due to supply chain issues. Our usual sources that we rely on to get food for our patrons are not able to provide the consistency and quantity that they usually can. Not knowing when this would be resolved, and knowing we still need to feed people, we reached out for support to our community. We began talking with partners and coming up with strategies to fill these gaps as we wait to see where the greater supply chain gets. We, as a community, will fill the gaps. We call each other, we brainstorm, we problem solve and we rearrange resources to ensure that resources get to everyone.
Over the past few months, we have really seen an increase in need. The lines are longer, the numbers we are preparing for our meals are getting higher and higher, week to week. People are really struggling to make ends meet. But, what I see is that when there is a need, people extend a hand. Each week, one of our Greenfield Community Meal site patrons, Matt, picks up meals for elderly and disabled neighbors unable to leave their homes. He delivers across 5 households, often loading up his van with boxes of pantry items from our Orange Food Pantry pop-up table. This is not a rare occurrence. Many of our patrons make sure they bring food home to their neighbors. Many people jump out of line to help us unload our van, or volunteer to help out with distributing food.
I never doubt this community’s ability to show up and therefore, I never doubt what kind of impact we are capable of having. We are the ground, with each other, doing the work. And that is how we alleviate hunger, increase food access and build food security in Franklin County.
We work together, we distribute resources, we celebrate giving and receiving, we highlight abundance, we provide opportunities to be of service, we encourage compassion and engagement within our community.