PEACE with Penny SEASON 4: Penny S. Tee Interview with Participants of the 2022 Interfaith Thanksgiving Project Including Families Forward, OCIF, Temple Beth El SOC and Shepherd of the Hills Church, December 20,2022
This will be our last PEACE with Penny episode for the year. We did something a bit different than usual and we took Peace in another direction. Usually, we speak about Israelis and Palestinians who work on Peace together. Instead, we spoke about issues a lot closer to home. We talked about Peace and friendship between interfaith communities, the recent uptick in anti-semitism and islamophobia, and helping the needy in our neighborhoods.
Hungry people in the United States is unfortunately nothing new, as egregious as the issue is. It just shouldn’t be a problem given our vast wealth as a nation. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment and food insecurity soared. In 2021, in America, 53 million people turned to food banks and community programs for help putting food on the table.
This year we again attended our 2022 Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Event where yearly our synagogue, Temple Beth El of South Orange County gets together with the Orange County Islamic Foundation, and Shepherd of the Hills Methodist Church and we bring and pack food supplies for 240 needy families for a Thanksgiving dinner as well as other food and grocery gift cards. The food is then given to an organization called Families Forward, a nonprofit that feeds struggling families and helps those who end up homeless in Orange County find a roof over their heads. This was a bright spot in a dismal set of facts.
I know many of us who live in Orange County think of it as an affluent community and for some that is true. However, the fact is that before the pandemic slammed Orange County with job losses in our once-thriving travel, tourism and hospitality industries, there were nearly 456,000 people at risk of hunger each month. As of June 2020, that number has increased by 4x as many per month. This population consists of families, children, seniors, the newly vulnerable impacted by COVID-19 job losses and those recovering from medical expenses or disabilities.
This isn’t our usual topic but for my Peace of Mind, I wanted folks to know about this dire need anyway.
We hope you will join us and hear some ideas of how you can help hungry people, here in the United States.
If you’ve missed any PEACE with Penny episodes, why not take advantage of the time during the break and catch up? Please share any PEACE with Penny interviews with your family and friends. You can find them on our PEACE with Penny YouTube Channel or on www.PennySTee.com under podcasts.
Thank you, have a happy holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2023. May You Live in Peace, שלום and سلام.
May You Live in Peace, שלום and سلام.
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