Hunger is as cruel as it is inhumane. It has no borders. It knows few boundaries. It can be sudden. It can be inevitably slow in its coming.
It is not limited to the growing numbers of homeless.
It is not limited to the victims of foreclosure.
It is not limited to those who fall behind on their rent.
It is not limited to families whose primary provider has become stricken with serious illness.
It is not limited to those who have lost all possessions in disasters like fire and floods.
It is not limited to the unemployed.
It is not limited to the underemployed.
It is not limited to any whose run of bad luck seems unending.
It is not limited to the good, to the bad, to unbelievers nor to those still seeking a reason to believe.
It is not limited to individuals, to small families, to large clans nor to any groups in between.
It is not limited to whites, to blacks, to migrants seeking a better life, to the red man nor to the yellow.
It is not limited to infants, to their struggling young parents nor to impoverished elderly whose meager incomes are stretched from medicine to doctor’s visits to insurance payments to home repair.
It is not limited to a man of God, to a woman who has lost faith nor to an unwanted child of circumstance.
It is not limited to the sick, to the healthy nor to the dying.
It is not limited to a school, to a neighborhood nor to a street.
It is not limited to friends, to loved ones near and far nor to neighbors whose faces we know but whose lives we know very little.
Hunger is not limited ... period.
Hunger is a fear that some know daily, a stranger to whom others are mildly acquainted.
Hunger is the enemy. Hunger is the reason for “Cleveland Helping Cleveland,” a 14th annual community food drive sponsored by Southern Heritage Bank and a growing collection of business and school partners.
This year’s campaign began Monday. It concludes Friday in the bank’s main office parking lot on Keith Street.
“Cleveland Helping Cleveland” will help to stock the food pantries at United Way of Bradley County member agencies like Cleveland Emergency Shelter, the Harbor Safe House, Signal Center, Neighbors in Need and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. A United Way partner called the “Sack Pack,” which is operated through The Caring Place, will also receive food that is appropriate for students’ backpacks.
Southern Heritage Bank is teaming with Bender Realty, the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Century 21 Realtors, the Cleveland Fire Department, Cleveland Family YMCA, Cleveland Utilities, Eaton Electrical and Peyton’s Southeastern.
Schools conducting food drives in support of the Southern Heritage campaign are Charleston Elementary, Cleveland High, Mayfield Elementary, Michigan Avenue Elementary, Oak Grove Elementary, Park View Elementary, Walker Valley High, Waterville Community Elementary and Yates Primary.
Food donations may be dropped off at any of the three Southern Heritage locations: the Keith Street main office, the Waterville Springs Office off Dalton Pike on Treasury Drive near Walmart South, or the Georgetown office at the intersection of Georgetown Road and Villa Drive.
Needed food types include canned vegetables and fruits, soups, rice, beans, canned tuna and chicken, macaroni and cheese, cereal and peanut butter. Items like soap, shampoo and other toiletries are also accepted. Those who bring both varieties are asked to bag them separately. No glass containers. No perishables.
Although Friday is the drive’s final day, time remains for a quick trip to the grocery to prepare for a drop off. Those seeking last-minute information should contact Denise DeArmond at Southern Heritage Bank at 303-1732.
Hunger is real.
But hunger can be beaten with heart-driven campaigns like “Cleveland Helping Cleveland.”
We urge the community’s support.