We Hold the Answer – Dr. Maude Jennings

A Letter to our Community

I paid Mary and Cornelius Dollison a visit shortly following the loss of their son, Larry.  Any loss of this sort is stressful, yet the remarkable thing was how very thankful they felt to have so many of our community members in their lives during this time.  They spoke of the outpouring of support as proof of how God works in all our hearts and minds.  They worried that “thank you” was insufficient, but stressed how deeply heartfelt it was to say it, and they repeated it for me to say again:  “Thank you all.”

In such a trying time, they have much to be thankful for. Their friends, admirers, supporters, and fellow community leaders have made donations totaling over $13,000 to the Larry Dollison Memorial Fund at Community Foundation. The intended use of that fund is to reduce and/or eliminate food insecurity in Whitely. This fund will act as an endowment to provide small amounts of funding over a long period of time and will help us to ensure the longevity of the project. This funding, however, does not provide the initial seed money for the pantry/grocery store project to get off the ground. For that, Whitely Community Council and the Dollisons ask for your continued help and support.

Let us consider a few things.

Too many of us can recall times when we were hungry.  Too many of us may have been in circumstances when we had to miss a meal.  And, too many of us spent much of our lives making sure that we, our parents, and our close relatives did not have to feel the searing physical pains that came with being hungry.  In the same way that lead proves to be toxic to humans, hunger is also toxic.  Poverty is the main cause of food insecurity, but there are other forces at work with equally destructive influences.  Some of those forces we, as individuals, cannot attack right now, but feeding children, older people, ourselves–those we CAN affect.  And a LOCAL effort can be made to help CHANGE the lives of so many people in Whitely by eliminating the food desert that exists right here–right now—in this community.

“How?” you ask.

We start our own–notice–OUR OWN pantry/grocery store in Whitely. By taking this matter into our own hands we directly affect the lives of those in need. Does it ever occur to most of us how essential it is that we do as much as we can, in every way we can, to make a different future for our children?  Our children need to be properly nourished in order to be able to pursue their ideas–their abilities–their dreams.

Let me repeat:  START OUR OWN!

And again, you ask, “How?”

Donate to invest in your children’s future.  Donate to help seniors provide the wisdom of age to the future. Donate to change the direction of too many of our young people.  Start the change toward 21st century living here and now–which can begin with a diet that allows for greater mental, physical, and intellectual capabilities. If we truly care about wanting to improve lives so that they matter, help us to encourage feeding the body so that the soul can flourish.  And donation is not necessarily always financial. Find out how you can get involved.

Let’s get the seed money for the pantry.  Let’s be brave enough to really do something to change the world.  Let’s recognize that our churches are major contributors, that the City of Muncie, the community councils, MAP, United Way, Edible Muncie, Teamwork for Quality Living–ALL the other groups who are concerned and actively combatting food insecurity all have similar ends to achieve, but, as Uncle Sam used to say in war time, “This means YOU!’  Hunger IS a war and we all need to prepare to fight a common enemy because the alternative is too grim to accept.  Everyone needs to unite to defeat this common enemy.  No child, no adult, no senior in Delaware county should be hungry and one of the first places in great need is the Whitely area.  We can begin together and find answers to end “food deserts” and new means to volunteer and DONATE to the causes.

It CAN be done if we see the pain, recognize the need and come together to make the change.

Whitely Community Council has secured the needed funds for an endowment through Community Foundation. The current objective is to secure startup funding for an initial investment in property purchase, construction, and getting the food pantry/grocery established. Donations to help with startup funding for this project can be sent to Whitely Community Council at P.O. Box 665, Muncie, IN 47308. Checks should be made out to Whitely Community Council with the phrase “food insecurity” written in the memo line, to ensure the funds go to the appropriate project. Your donations, hard work, and support are essential to the success of this pantry/grocery store. Together we can solve the problems of hunger and scarcity in this community.

Dr. Maude Jennings