Hunger Is Not a Disease

10 Things You Can Do For Hungry People Now

DONATE FOOD TO A FOOD PANTRY
When you purchase groceries, buy a few extra jars or cans of food and take them to your neighborhood food pantry.
Peanut butter is my favorite choice. It’s shelf stable so needs no refrigeration. That makes it good for homeless people. It doesn’t spoil quickly so it can be used by a household with one or ten people. It doesn’t require a lot of chewing so it’s good for a person with no teeth. In short, peanut butter is a perfect food choice for a food pantry.
However, if you would rather choose another item, go with whatever you want to give. Whatever you choose, it will be selected by someone shopping in the pantry.

CLEAN OUT YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS
Give the unused items to your local food pantry.

HOST A FOOD DRIVE
Invite your friends and neighbors to help you collect food for your local food pantry.

DONATE CLEAN EGG CARTONS AND REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS TO YOUR FOOD PANTRY.
Food pantries are always in need of shopping bags and egg cartons. Eggs coming to a food pantry usually come in cases – without the cartons.
Shopping bags are not usually found on food pantry shopping lists.

CLEAN OUT THAT CLOSET!
Take your gently used clothing and bedding to a pantry or soup kitchen for distribution. I recently learned that the clothing item most needed in shelters is socks.
I also learned that women’s shelters are always in need of bras.
In the Albany, New York, area, you can send gently used or new women’s bras to:
YWCA – Greater Capitol Region
Brava
21 First Street
Troy, New York 12180

CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY.
Invite people to a party and ask them to give donations to a food pantry instead of a gift.

GIVE A LITTLE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
Make a regular donation to a food pantry. This translates to sending a check or gas card every month or quarter.

CONTACT ELECTED OFFICIALS AND PERSONS OF INFLUENCE.
Motivate them to make ending hunger and homelessness a priority. Encourage them to support fair wages and benefits for workers.

READ A BOOK.
“Take This Bread” by Sara Miles, “Under the Overpass” by Mike Yankoski, “I am Your Neighbor” by David R. Brown and Roger Wright, and “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” by Thurman Greco are four books which tell revealing stories about hungry people in America.

START A SCHOOL BACKPACK PROGRAM.
Backpack programs send food home on Friday afternoons to households where children would not otherwise eat over the weekend without the donated foods.

Thanks for reading this article! Please refer it to your preferred social media network.

Thurman Greco

Woodstock

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This was almost the last weekend.

There’s only one more weekend left at Mower’s Meadow Flea Market this year. I’ll be there the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving and then that’ll be it for awhile. I understand the flea market doesn’t open weekends again until May.

Don’t quote me on that. I’m not sure. But, one thing I’m sure about: I plan to be there every weekend next season. The hunger book, the donation jar, and I plan to be at Mower’s Meadow Flea Market next season.

I was at a different spot at the flea market every weekend. And, I really enjoyed being there. The people at the other booths were friendly, open, and interested in my booth. I got many tips and tried them all. It was obvious to everyone that I really didn’t know much about flea market marketing. I still don’t know much but my booth presentation has definitely improved.

Thank you to each and every one who bought copies of “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore”. I doubt if “The Ketchup Sandwich Chronicles” will be available by then but I working on it every day.

The title “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” was named by Cullen Thomas and it was well chosen. Many people who picked up the book on the table were bothered by the title because they didn’t understand it. However, it definitely attracted attention.

For those with questions, the title referred to an “unhoused” congregation serving people outside the sanctuary. And, the food pantry was definitely outside the boundary of the sanctuary. The food pantry was, in fact, in the basement.

This story isn’t about how to fix or save or change a church. Nor is it, really, a story about a church at all. In fact, it’s not a manual about anything. It’s a story about how I discovered hungry people in the basement of the building in a tiny food pantry in the corner room.

A memoir, this story tells the truth as I remember it.

If you haven’t had a chance to read this book, it’ll be available at thurmangreco.com during the winter unless I find an indoor weekend flea market that’s appropriate for a table of books and open on the weekend.

My goal is to offer Reiki therapy and tarot readings in addition to the books at the flea market in the future.

But, whether I offer Reiki and tarot or not, I plan to be at a table selling both “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” and “Healer’s Handbook”. When “Ketchup Sandwich Chronicles” comes out, I’ll add it to the stack!

See you there!

Thurman Greco

Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.

Summer Came and Went. And a book signing…

Please join me.

You are invited to attend my Author’s Reading and book signing on Saturday morning, September 22nd at 10:00 am on the grounds of the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market.

Refreshments will be served.

School is starting.  And, once again, the focus of my life has adjusted itself.  Hunger takes us all to new places that we never thought we would go.

For me, I spent the past two years  writing my hunger book.  I felt as if I’d gone into a cave…a writer’s cave.  And, of course, with all this time in the cave, the inevitable finally  happened:  a book signing.

I finished the book!  Not only that, I’m working on the follow-on volume.  But, that’s getting off message.

A book signing is always appropriate in September.

Where?  I’m  selling the book at the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market in Woodstock.  Somehow, I feel this was the logical direction I was headed from the first day:  a book signing.

I sell the book….and a lot more.  While selling  the book, people purchase other used books and gently used items to raise money for the hungry.

I’m selling items and collecting donations to buy peanut butter for a pantry which doesn’t have any on the shelves on the day I call the pantry.  Why peanut butter?

Peanut butter doesn’t need refrigeration.

It can be eaten by people who no longer have teeth.

Peanut butter has a generous shelf life.

For homeless people, peanut butter is a staple.

But, getting back to the basics,  people are dropping gently used items off at my home.  I wash them, or dust them off, and otherwise freshen them up and then take them to Mower’s Meadow on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays.

The prices are reasonable.  The items are really nice.  People fighting hunger are being  really generous.

Lucy and Erin made a wonderful banner for my booth so  people know what’s happening in the booth.

Thank you for reading this blog post.  Please refer it to your preferred social media network.

I look forward to seeing you at the Book Signing  at 10:00 on the 22nd!

Thurman Greco

 

 

Ramen Noodles Should be a Choice.

Ramen Noodles should be a choice.

Ramen Noodles should be a choice.

 

On a recent New York Subway ride, I stood in a crowded car bound for Flatbush,   thinking about hungry people having only Ramen Noodles to eat because they had no money.    Just then,  an older black man near me spoke to everyone in the crowded car.

With a  well modulated, practiced, articulate voice,  this cotton top knew what he was doing.  He talked about veterans and their needs.  He obviously either wrote the speech because he was an excellent and experienced speech writer or he  found himself such a person to do the job.

He ended his short presentation with a plea for money.  And, wrapped up in this short talk  was the realization that he was as much interested in consciousness raising as he was in collecting dimes and dollars.  What he wanted, really, was for  captive audience members in the metro car to hear his message, digest it, understand it, and act on it in some beneficial way.

This man’s message  went right to my brain and my heart.  What this old cotton top didn’t know was that we are  on the same path.  I, too, am on a mission of consciousness raising and fundraising.  And, like him, I’m not doing this  just for the fun of it.  I’m on a mission to spread the word about a truly tragic and hidden horror in our country:  hunger in America.

I want people in this country to have enough food in their lives so that Ramen Noodles should be a choice.

I sell books and T-shirts to raise money,  give talks in libraries and church meeting halls. Finally,  I work daily  to interest you  in the plight of hungry people of every age  in our great nation who simply don’t have the money to buy food.  Ramen Noodles should be a choice.

When you purchase my book, you help me  feed the hungry.   All the proceeds of “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” go to  buy food  for hungry people who need it.  Ramen noodles should be a choice.

Right now, because of the summer months, I’m donating peanut butter to hungry people.  At other times in the year, the focus will be on different foods.

Peanut butter has many qualities which bring it to the top of my go-to list.

Peanut butter…

is nutritious.

has a long shelf life.

doesn’t need refrigeration.

is a staple in a household with children.

can be eaten by people who have no teeth.

can be easily carried  in the pocket or backpack of a homeless person.

In short, Ramen noodles should be a choice.

Thank you for reading this post.  Please forward this article to your favorite social media network.

Ramen Noodles should be a choice.  Feed the hungry!

Thurman Greco

 

 

I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore!

It’s OUT!  It’s in print!  The story has been told!  And, you can get a copy.  Today!  Right now!

Simply go to thurmangreco.com and order it on paypal.

If you prefer, you can wait until next Wednesday, and get it on Amazon.

And, it’s beginning to appear in independent book stores.

What began as a project, guaranteed not to take no more than two hours a month has become a calling.  And, as of this week, it’s become a non-profit seeking  food and funds to feed the hungry.

It took more than five years of work.  Reams and Reams of paper were used.  Two computers blew up.  One copier died of exhaustion.

Get the book, read it, and let me know how you feel about what you read.

And, please share this unbelievably exciting news.

And, watch for the T-shirts!

I’ve got a food drive going now.  Please donate peanut butter.   Locally, you can donate food, at 31 Tannery Brook, Woodstock.

Any and all food and funds you donate will go to a food pantry.  You can send a check to Thurman Greco, 31 Tannery Brook, Woodstock, NY 12498.  OR, you can make a donation via paypal.  You can get to the paypal site by going to http://www.thurmangreco.com.

OR, you can give something directly to your local food pantry!

And, thank you in advance for understanding the situation and for sharing what you can with those who have less than you.

Help me FEED THE HUNGRY!

Peace and food for all.

Please share this article with your favorite social media outlet.

THANKS!

Thurman Greco

 

 

 

I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore – Coming Soon!

IT’S COMING SOON!

After countless reams of computer paper, dozens and dozens of writing classes, three computers and two copiers, the book about hunger is at the publisher’s!

And, I actually heard the word “done” today!  I’m ecstatic beyond words!

Somebody else could have done it with only one computer disaster  and  one copier blow up.  But, I never claimed to be a writer.

This endeavor took years.  And, it was worth it.    I felt  this story needed to be told when I started writing it in 2013 and I’m sticking to my opinion.  Hunger in America was then and is now a national event which needs to be shared.

A real Woodstock story, “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” tells about   the people in the pantry,  channels my grandmother,  and reveals a few  miracles.

I’m proud to say that “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” will, within days, be available in paperback and eBook editions on Amazon.

I am already scheduling book signings for this book.  If you are in the area, I look forward to seeing you at one near you!

You can purchase this book by going to my website at http://www.thurmangreco.com.

Order your copy, and please share this unbelievably exciting news!

Thurman

Please share this blog article with your preferred social media network!

 

Motel 19

Everyone coming to a pantry travels down a path.  For many, this journey is a real load lightener.  As the finances erode, the house goes.  And, of course, when the house goes, everything that was in it goes too.

Furniture, kitchen stuff, toys, clothes, tools, garden implements.  By the time a person or family gets to Motel 19, things have slimmed down to a few clothes, a blanket or two, a hot plate, or maybe an electric skillet or microwave.

For the families living in Model 19, the children are usually eligible for the school breakfast and/or lunch program.  But, that doesn’t cover eating at home.  And, there’s no lunch program for the adults.

So…it’s off to the pantry.

Several families usually pile in a car and come over for an afternoon of pantry shopping.  Or, an individual hitch hikes.  In order for this trip to succeed, several guidelines to follow will help:

Try to arrive an hour or so before the pantry opens.  This makes for a long wait but there’s more of a selection right when the pantry opens.  Also, while waiting in line, there’s an opportunity to make new friends and learn a few survival skills if you’re new to the pantry experience.

Bring your own shopping bags.  Some pantries don’t have enough of these much needed items.

Bring some ID.  Some pantries require much:  picture ID, proof of address, proof that other household members exist.  This can be a bit tough if you’re homeless.  Hint:  some pantries require little to no identification

Be prepared to wait in a line.  Use this time to meet your line neighbors.  They can be helpful if you’re trying to navigate your way through DSS, if you’re being foreclosed upon, need your car repaired, etc.

As you wait in line, try to learn how the pantry works from those around you in the line.  You’ll want to know how long you’ll be in the shopping room, what foods are usually on the shelves, what other pantries the people in line shop at, etc.

Don’t be afraid to let people know you’ve never been to a pantry.

Once you find a pantry you can use, go every time you’re allowed.  If you’re lucky, you’ll have a pantry in your area which will allow weekly visits.  Because pantry shopping takes so much time, shoppers sometimes just don’t go if they still have SNAP card money or if they have a few bucks left over from a paycheck.  Your best bet is to go every week.

Why?  Most pantries have different food every week and you may miss out on some real savings by not attending regularly.

Pantry shopping requires a totally new approach to cooking.  So does cooking with only an electric skillet or microwave.

Some pantries have periodic visits from a nutritionist.  Don’t be shy about asking him/her for any tips you might need to help this adjustment a bit easier for you.  Nutritionists  know a lot about the food you are now trying to cook with and they can answer any questions you might have.

Thanks for reading this blog post.

Please share this article with your favorite social media network.

PS:  This book is at the publisher’s now.  It will be available SOON!  You can order it at http://www.thurmangreco.com.

Thanks,

Thurman Greco

Help the Homeless

The world of people who are homeless may seem very foreign – But, it’s actually very near.  We meet people every day who are just like us, only they don’t have a roof over their heads.

We can all find ourselves without a roof when we lose a job.  Or, maybe a spouse  dies.  Possibly an accident which leaves physical disabilities is the cause.  In short, all it takes is a personal tragedy.

 

There are many things we can do to help end homelessness.  There are many, many things we can do to help those who are struggling with homelessness.

One easy way we can help is to take a little extra food along when we go out of our home to work or on errands.  A few extra sandwiches will help.  When a person asks for change, offer him or her a sandwich.

A couple of times each year, gather the clothes you are no longer going to wear and donate them to shelters and pantries providing services to help those who are homeless.

While you gather clothes for the homeless, look at your family’s toys, books, and  games and select those that are no longer being used.  Children living in shelters have few possessions and will enjoy them.

Can you spare an hour or two?  Tutors can make all the difference.  Volunteer to tutor children in shelters.

Celebrate your birthday or anniversary and ask the people you invite to bring items for the homeless.

Carry fast food certificates with you when you are going out.  Hand them out to people who are homeless.

Hold a food drive and take the food to a shelter or a pantry in your area.

Donate your collectable recyclable cans and bottles to people who are homeless.  Donate a bag of groceries to a soup kitchen, shelter, or food pantry.

Volunteer at a food pantry or shelter.

Volunteer your professional services.  Lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, and dentists can all use your skills when you volunteer at a pantry or shelter.

Ask your company, church, school to host a fund-raising event for a pantry or homeless shelter.  Items of dignity are really needed by the homeless.

Thank you for reading this article!

Please refer this article to your favorite social media network.

Thurman Greco

PS:  The hunger book is really moving along.  Things just never get finished as quickly as we all wish.  Writing a book requires years and years of research and writing.  In writing the hunger book, I have gone through thousands and thousands of sheets of paper and three computers.  I have spent years and years getting this story moved  from an event in my life to a book which will attract you or not in less than two  minutes.

Whew!

I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore

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This  is  the story of hunger in America as only the hungry can tell it.

It began as an outreach activity at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, New York.  My job was to pass the pantry key from one congregation to the next each month.  Total monthly time commitment:  two hours.  By the time I moved on to another food pantry eight years later, it had become a calling.

From the very first day, I felt compelled to write down things  people said to me in the pantry.  Trouble is, I’m not a writer and never have been.

So, the prayers manifested themselves.  It was all I could do to just keep up with the words.

Obviously, I needed supervision, guidance, mentoring.  As I lived this story and began to write it under the direction of Lillie Dale Cox Thurman and Uralee Thurman Lawrence, the story and the people strengthened me.  I found that I wanted things for these people.  Mostly, what I wanted for these hungry people was the same thing they wanted.  What I wanted, (and what they wanted) really, wasn’t much:

I wanted the hungry to sleep with full stomachs at night.

I wanted them to wake up in a dry space in the morning.

I wanted them to have healthcare.

And I wanted them to have jobs which paid the rent, bought food, and covered their transportation needs.

I wanted them to be a part of the community where they lived.

Finally, I wanted their children to be well educated.

My hope is that you will see this book as a glimpse of what I see…a collection of prayers offered as prize crystals or gems to be shared with the universe.

This book is being edited now.  I hope to have it finished by the end of the year!

Please send kind thoughts and support on this project!

Cover art by Michele Garner.  Thank you Michele.  This cover is perfect!

Thank you for reading this blog post.

Please share this article with you preferred social media network.

Thanks,

Thurman Greco

Woodstock, NY

“A Healer’s Handbook” by Thurman Greco is now available on Amazon or at http://www.thurmangreco.com

The Hunger Book is on the Editor’s Desk!

GNP43

After what seems like eons, this hunger book is finally on the editor’s desk.

This book is long, complicated, and full of information focusing on a subject  people know very little about – unless they live and/or work in it.  Recently, on the advice of my editor, the book has been divided into three separate books.

Because of these changes, the hunger book will be easier to read and use.

With three volumes, we now have three titles:

“I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore”

“The Unworthy Hungry”

“Hungry in America”

Of course, as a book progresses, things change and then they change again.  So, whether it’ll have two sections or three, it’s true that the one volume was way too large.

I’m extremely excited about this project!  Our goal for this project is to send the first volume to the publisher by mid-September.

Thank you for reading this blog.  Please refer this article to your favorite social media network.

“A Healer’s Handbook” is now available!  You can purchase it through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and my website:  http://www.thurmangreco.com.

Thanks!

Thurman Greco