It has become apparent to me that many individuals feel compelled to donate money, toys and food during the holiday season. Society seems to view Thanksgiving and Christmas as the only two days out of the year people struggle with supplying themselves and their families with the basic need of food. What about the other 363 days of the year? Are these days not as important?

There has been a shift from using the term hunger to food insecurity. What does this even mean?

Is hunger a topic so hard to deal with that we need to develop a less severe term to minimize the concern. According to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, 200,000 Mainers battle hunger yearly. Of the 200,000 individuals suffering from hunger, 62,810 are children. This means 1 in 4 children in the state of Maine suffer from hunger each year.

Maine ranks 18th in the nation and 1st in New England in terms of hunger. This is an outrageous number of people with food insecurity, aka hunger.

The donations given to food pantries and soup kitchens have dwindled drastically over the years, and these places struggle daily to provide this basic, essential need to fellow Mainers.

We should recognize that hunger is prevalent in the state and that it is not only important during the holiday season. Yes, it is important to have a holiday meal, but being able to feed your family the rest of the year is important as well. We need to support one another more than two days a year, and also support the food pantries by donating as frequently as possible to battle the growing hunger needs in our state.

Doug WeaverAugusta