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Sunday, January 8, 2017

9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Fourteen percent (14%) of families in Boulder County live on incomes below the federal poverty line, yet the mean household income in Boulder County is 15% higher than the state average.  These families, and other families and individuals who live slightly above the poverty level, suffer from what is called “food insecurity.”  Food insecurity means having an inadequate amount of food during a month despite earning income, receiving food stamps (now known as SNAP--Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or receiving other benefits.

People who are hungry are all around us.  They attend Community Table, for which we volunteer, in order to get a nutritious dinner.  They are children in our schools who receive free or reduced fee lunches because there is not enough food at home.  They are elders whose Social Security payments do not prevent them from going hungry during the month.  They are families whose SNAP benefits do not last through the whole month because Congress has decreased this benefit over the years. 62% of families receiving SNAP have one adult working full time living in the household and a whopping 87% of families have an adult working full time during the previous year.   You read that right—almost all of the families on SNAP benefits have an adult in the household who has worked full time during the previous year!

Building on last year’s successful and exciting Mitzvah Day, the Tikkun Olam Committee is going to sponsor another Mitzvah Day on January 8, 2017.  The day will begin with Rabbi Greene and Holli Berman inspiring us with words and song.    Then, seven agencies that deal with food insecurity will present the issue of hunger in Boulder County from their perspectives.  After the panel discussion, we will break out into discussion groups to learn more about hunger in our county and share a casual lunch.  After lunch, those who have signed up in advance will head out to our agencies to help them with a project of their choosing for a few hours.

Last year, the synagogue had a great opportunity to learn about poverty in Boulder County and had the satisfaction of helping our agencies complete projects that supported their efforts to support those in need.  This year, we will have the opportunity to be educated on the issue of hunger and to assist agencies that address that issue every day.