I found myself in a rare occasion sitting in a hotel breakfast area reading the USA Today print edition. The odd part isn’t the hotel, I’ve spent more nights out than home lately. It’s that I was reading a printed paper and that it was the USA Today. Anyway, I found two really interesting articles that pertain to why we are riding. Below is a brief synopsis and link to the online stories.
“Pantries Tackle Campus Hunger,” by Lindsay Powers, let me in on a growing trend of food pantries being located on college campuses to help students in time of need. A growing number of state universities are now offering this assistance but one of their main issues in distribution isn’t logistics but overcoming embarrassment. There are about 25 campuses with food pantries and the organization that helps set these up receives about 10 calls per month from other schools. Oregon State’s pantry opened in 2009 and helps several hundred students each month. Michigan State serves 200-300 students every other Wednesday. Organizers say that there is no typical student who accesses the food pantry. Also, compounding the issue is that full-time students are not eligible for SNAP.
“Fighting Poverty Until it Hurts,” by Anna Williams, alludes that Americans can learn a thing or two from the selfless focus of monks and nuns. The monks and nuns that Anna spoke with are quick to say that their vow of poverty is not for everyone but everyone can learn from their lifestyle. The vow of poverty involves rejecting the concept of self-reliance. Instead of earning money, monks and nuns rely on each other which shows the true providence of God. It’s also a way of ensuring that the things we own don’t own us. Mother Theresa’s quote, “Give until it hurts,” is the basis for a lot of what the monks and nuns are encouraging us to do. As we know, self-denial is not in our human nature and it takes work and commitment to give generously.