There are many duties we do in our homes we do not think twice about: Doing our laundry, cleaning up the kitchen table or our living space, doing dishes, brushing our teeth. Try putting yourself in a world where you not only have to think about doing these tasks, but also whether you have what you need to do them. The average food stamp assistance is $29 a week (yes, a week!) For a single person, this is a tight budget, but for a family it barely makes a dent. Not only is it hard to purchase enough food to live on for $29 a week, but rules prohibit them from purchasing basic necessities we take for granted, like laundry detergent, dish liquid, sponges, cleaners, disinfecting wipes, light bulbs, tissues, paper towels, toilet tissue, and toothpaste.
This forces people to decide whether to eat or clean. Either choice can impact the health of their family and has repercussions throughout our society. People who are struggling financially can buy food to keep their family adequately nourished, or keep bugs, germs and viruses at bay, so they don’t have to spend even more money on doctor visits and prescriptions. When resulting illness comes, do they miss work and not get paid? Or do they go to work sick, endangering other members of the public since many work in food services, childcare or other low paying service jobs. Too many times, their inability to access these basics means they end up in the emergency room with the costs being born by all of us. This is a sobering reality in our society.
The question is what are we doing about it? On Saturday, April 16th the Branchburg Baseball/Softball League held a Cleaning Products Drive during their opening ceremony to help those in need. They contributed over 400lbs of cleaning products which we truly appreciate! But at the same time, it’s doesn’t even scratch the surface of the need. As the song says “If not us, then who?” God says we are to be good stewards of our money and help those in need. If you are able, you have the ability to make a difference. We encourage you to donate something simple like the items listed above. Your donation will have a ripple affect across our community!