By Kristin McMahon, communications & development supervisor
Inequality stands out this time of year
As a hunger relief nonprofit serving the Sun Valley, Idaho area, the holidays are a magical, yet fraught time. Our economic divide — the ninth most severe in the nation* — is on full display when generosity surges while the struggles of our working class get worse. Ours is a place known for billionaire summer camps and an affordable housing crisis so bad, the City of Ketchum made national news suggesting we build a tent community to house homeless teachers and first-responders.
On any given day in December, you could see a stack of donations in our mailbox while a mother tells us her daughter is sleeping with a hat on because they can’t afford heat. Living in both worlds is a hard line to walk.
We continue to dream of a day when our worlds are one and everyone can enjoy the abundance of the holidays.
We’re not there yet. In our small mountain community, the need for food support is at an all-time high, local businesses are closing their doors, and the housing crisis is driving out longtime locals. Blaine County is an extreme example of the gaping wealth inequalities true to our nation.
Fortunately, there is a lot of good we can do if we think bigger. There are some exciting movements in philanthropy helping to level this imbalance. Check out this video if you have a lot to give. There are ways of investing with a social conscience to help mind the wealth gap and share resources more equitably.
This fresh approach to giving asks, “Shouldn’t money help all of us?” The folks at RSF Social Finance, Do Good Better, and Ruben Deluna Creative say it’s a matter of “investing in communities who have the leadership and solutions that are needed, but not enough money and resources…together, we are creating an economy that values social, environmental, and racial justice.”
We are incredibly grateful for the generous spirit of giving. We’d never be able to provide food for thousands of local people without every donor dollar. But we can’t rest on that alone. We must share the wealth and tackle the failures in our Systems before we can all enjoy the magic of the holidays.
Let us know your approach to long-term change: e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @5Bhunger and then watch this video to learn more about Bloom Community Food Center, a one-of-a-kind place working to end hunger through good, farm-fresh food, social connection, and activism.