loaves, fishes and five-Ks

Early last Sunday morning–on a high-country almost-autumn day so gorgeously blue, gold and green it seemed Monet had a hand in it–my friend Beth and I joined a few hundred like-minded friends to Run Hunger Out of Town. It was a 5K/10K benefit for Food Bank of the Rockies www.foodbankrockies.org, sponsored by the people of Panera Bread with help from the Westminster Fire Department and other socially conscious organizations. We elected to trade the timed run for a fast walk that our K9 pals Maya and Bridge could enjoy, as well. Pant pant, joy joy.

What crossed my mind, given the day and the sight of snowy peaks on the horizon, was a socially active occasion on another mount more than 2000 years ago. It’s one of my favorite childhood stories–about a little kid, a growing crowd and how sharing a small snack sparked a major miracle that fed a host of the hungry. Except for the fish, many of the same elements were present at Sunday’s run—little kids, a big crowd and an abundant lunch. But this repast featured thick sandwiches and flaky croissants. Plus t-shirts and Frisbees. (Don’t recall the latter four in the original flannel-graph version, do you Marilyn Ann?  😉

Anyway, I loved the idea that another small miracle of sorts was taking place. Last year’s Panerathon raised just under $8,000 for the Food Bank, and this year’s need is painfully greater. Of the people they serve, fully half are children. Of the families they serve, half have one adult employed full time outside the home. Which makes the fact that 96 cents of every dollar received goes towards food a big deal to me.  And the knowledge a single dollar will yield four meals nothing short of a Godsend. If I’m calculating correctly (knew I should have called Al), I do believe we’re talking 30,720 meals at a critical time in our nation’s experience.

Several years ago, the original loaves-and-fishes story made for great dinner conversation when those at the table included an ordained minister, an avowed atheist, a lay pastor and three outspoken wives, all of whom had grown up in the Methodist church. The atheist argued it was not a supernatural act that created supply for all, but that people were keeping their own foodstuffs hidden…until the little boy shared.

Was he right? Doesn’t matter.

Hungry is hungry.  Fed is fed.

Which is pretty divine in my book.

This is hunger awareness month in America.  I would love to hear what’s being done in your area to help.  Thanks.

~Carla. 9.20.11

Photo:  Petr Kratochvil

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