The Endless Fight With Hunger

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In 2012, RT’s Anastasia Churkina made this report on the harsh reality of America’s recession that led to hunger and poverty.  Sadly, this video is still relevant up to these days.  Watch what remained relevant to the people not just in America but to all people around the world.

Every single day, too many men, women, children suffer from hunger from all countries around the world.

Hunger is synonymous with famine, starvation and undernourishment.  All of these lead to malnutrition which is a negative condition affecting an individual who lacks consumption of nutritious foods.  World hunger is another serious thing which refers to the scarcity of food in a country.

Hunger is caused by a lot of complex interconnected factors.   Poverty, conflicts between countries, overpopulation, climate change and many others are some of the known major causes of hunger.

As a highly-developed country, America is still better off than the majority of the other countries in the world.  Per the WFP’s report showing the Hunger Map 2015, USA is included in the 5% that comprises those countries that have very low Prevalence of Undernourishment in the population in 2014-16.  (Source: Hunger Map 2015)

No matter how well the government of a country strives to provide well for its communities, there are always people out there who are left out with nothing to eat.  The fight to end hunger is still a continuing advocacy among many organizations all around the world.

Humanitarian organizations like the World Food Programme has long been involved in fighting hunger across the globe.  Other non-profit organizations in America such as Silver City’s The Gospel Mission also do the same out of their desire to contribute to the endless fight against hunger—providing free food from their food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.

Even with all the programs provided by these charity organizations, it is not guaranteed that the fight against hunger will come to an end.  So, it is important that people who have the capacity to feed the hungry come to embrace this advocacy and pass it on to the next generations, as well.

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What Type Of Food Do We Serve At The Mission?

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I had a question the other day from a health conscious citizen about the types of meals we serve in the soup kitchen and the food we give out in the food pantry.

I think we do a pretty good job, but there is always room for improvement and a lot of the time it depends on what we have on hand or can afford.

We get our food from Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque, rescue it from WalMart, Albertsons, Food Basket, CVS and a few Restaurants around town, we get donations from First American Bank and Freeport McMoRan of fair animals in the fall, we get donations from some of our donation boxes around town, numerous private donations that are dropped off at the Mission food pantry, leftovers from special events and a fair amount of produce that we grow in the Mission garden.

We also had a WNMU intern come in awhile back and rework all of the Mission soup kitchen recipes so they were more nutritious and used items we had regularly donated (and we published a cookbook/storybook which is available on

Currently anyone who is hungry can get one of our own food boxes each month and if they meet Government guidelines they can also get another TEFAP food box that same month (if they live in our area).

The soup kitchen is open for breakfast Monday through Friday and for lunch Monday through Saturday (we are looking for a group to cook on Sundays if you are interested).

Below is the list of food we try and give out in our boxes, daily fresh food distributions and meal plans for the soup kitchen.  If we don’t have a certain item on hand, we ask the community at large or certain groups to step up and help us out and if we have the funds available we may purchase it.

We understand that these amounts are not very much and may not be enough to feed a family for even more than a few days, but they are meant more as a stop-gap emergency measure to keep people going until they receive their paychecks, food stamps and we use our soup kitchen for those who are truly in need on a daily basis.

We normally hand out more than 500 food boxes and serve anywhere from 3,500-4,000 meals in our soup kitchen monthly.  You can read more about the demographics we serve here.

1 Protein item (1 peanut butter, 2 tuna fish, etc)
1-2 cans of fruit
4 cans of vegetables
1-2 cans beans or legumes
1-2 can tomato or spaghetti sauce
2 packages ramen
1 Loaf bread (from cart in thrift store)
1 recipe for above

1 bag pinto beans
1 bag rice
1 bag sugar
1 bag flour
1 box milk
1 bag salt
1 box spaghetti or noodles
2 desserts or snacks
1 recipe for above

(From daily outside distribution by the walk-in)
1-2 Dairy
2-4 Produce
1-2 Meat

2 cans Vienna Sausage
2 Fruit Cups
1 Package crackers, nuts or snacks
1 Bottle water or juice
1 plastic spoon

2 Tuna Fish
2 Oatmeal
2 Frozen Vegetables
2 Frozen Fruit
2 Beans

Fresh Fruit, if available
Bacon or Sausage, if available

1 Protein item
1 (or more) Vegetables
1 Fruit (if available)
1 Bread or Grain
1 Dessert (No dessert items out until after 10 am)

Most of the time it’s pretty well-balanced and enough to keep someone from starving for a short period of time.

Some of the services we offer besides food are:

  • A case worker for any needs besides food or clothing (counseling, ID cards, bus passes if available, food stamp applications, hms co-pays for the homeless, hud housing apps, government benefits, referals to other agencies, etc)
  • Nurse on call every other Wednesday
  • Bible Study and spiritual counseling
  • Life and work skills training
  • Volunteer opportunities for those who want to give back
  • Community Service hours in lieu of fines
  • Clothing bank
  • Thrift store at dirt-cheap prices
  • 1 time household setup of needed items
  • Public showers, laundry and bathroom
  • Hygiene kits
  • Homeless survival kits
  • Women and Children’s transitional home
  • Men’s cold weather shelter
  • Student internships
  • Seniors citizen and school mobile food pantries

We could always use some extra help in the form of volunteers, cash or goods or if you have any ideas on how we can improve our ministry, we’d love to talk to you!

And we are always searching for more ways to encourage, motivate and help those we serve and like to try new and creative ideas to help them get back on their feet.

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The State Of Homelessness In The USA

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Homelessness Defined

Simply defined, homelessness is the state of having no home or permanent place of residence.  But it is a state far more complicated than this given definition.  In America, many organizations—both the government agencies in charge of providing programs for homeless individuals and the privately-managed organizations whose mission is to help in the elimination of the state of homelessness in the country—have defined homelessness in different ways.

In the United Nations Demographic Yearbook review by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Statistics Division, Demographic and Social Statistic Branch, it was discussed that the correct definition of a homeless household should be, in accordance with the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses which states that “homeless households are those households without a shelter that would fall within the scope of living quarters. They carry their few possessions with them, sleeping in the streets, in doorways or on piers, or in any other space, on a more or less random basis.”

Per the Health Resources and Services Administration , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “A homeless individual is an individual who lacks housing (without regard to whether the individual is a member of a family), including an individual whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility (e.g., shelters) that provides temporary living accommodations, and an individual who is a resident in transitional housing.” A homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation. [Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C., 254b)]

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  uses ‘homeless’ to describe a person who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.  HUD recognizes four categories under which individuals and families might qualify as homeless.  It is upon these that the services are provided to the homeless individual or families.

  • Category 1 – Literally Homeless
  • Category 2 – Imminent Risk of Homeless
  • Category 3 – Homeless Under Other Federal Statutes
  • Category 4 – Fleeing/Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence

All these definitions point to a common thing—that is the lack of permanent place to stay.

Homelessness Statistics

Homelessness exists around the world.  Even the most powerful and richest countries in the world have people who experience this social problem.  In the United States, the Point-In-Time Count or simply termed ‘homeless count’ ( that was carried out in January 2016 reveals that there were 549,928 people suffering from homelessness in one single night; 68% were sheltered and 32% unsheltered.  Out of this number, 355,212 people are experiencing homelessness as individuals, accounting for 65% of the homeless population while the 194,716 people are in families with children experiencing homelessness, representing 35% of the homeless population. (

Whether this information is accurate or not—is not the main issue.  It is enough to point out that homelessness is one of America’s existing social crises that its government and its people have to address.  There is a great opportunity for all able-bodied Americans to extend their hand and help in the advocacy to eliminate homelessness in America.

Causes of Homelessness

Having no net worth, not being employed, and having low-paying jobs have always been included in the factors that lead to the state of homelessness.  Families remain homeless because in the first place, they cannot afford to pay for housing units.  While those who have jobs and were able to acquire a house but still live through negative cash flow often end up in debts and in the end, have their properties foreclosed by credit companies.

Family members who learn to gamble to increase their low income often come to worse situations that they tend to give up their belongings including their homes.

Abusing drugs also adds up to these causes, and so does having broken families. Most children who grew up without their parents’ help and have had difficult childhoods tend to join the pack of young cocaine users.  Growing up from this kind of situation, these children make it through the streets and abandon their homes.

These are just few of the many reasons why there are homeless people in the country.  The list could go on and on.  It’s not like these people chose to live this way.  As they say, at some point in a man’s life, shit happens.

How to Help

Out of pure love and the desire to help others and the country, some private non-profit organizations have offered their resources and services to help a number of homeless people in the country.  They welcome the homeless men, women and children into their shelters through their own homeless help programs.  With the growing number of homeless people in America, more of these kinds of organizations and even well-off individuals who are willing to lend a hand are still needed for the country to get by with the situation.

If you feel that you are one of these passionate individuals, you can reach out to these organizations and partner with them to keep channeling the help and assistance that these homeless people need.

Learn more about helping the homeless here.

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Silver City Rotary Club Helps Gospel Mission

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This year the Silver City Rotary Club will be holding their Silent Auction Fundraiser and Gala on Sat, Oc 7th.  They are shooting to raise $100,000 and will be assisting three local non-profits from the funds that they raise.  This year the Mission was selected as one of the recipients and we will be using the funds to help the Sierra House, our women and children’s shelter.

We are currently soliciting items to be used for the silent auction from individuals and businesses in our area.  All donations are tax deductible and you can donate things like antiques, jewelry, unique products or gifts, trips or tickets to special events, among others.  They are asking that all items have a retail value of more than $25 and will not be accepting hanging wall art this year.

So if you have something you would like to donate to help us out, please give us a call at 388-5071 or drop us a line and we will get it to the auctioneers.  Not only will you be able to take a tax write-off, but this is for a very worthy cause and if you are a business, the public exposure always helps and is a great way to give something back to our small town.

Thanks in advance!

Randy Salars

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Garden Supervisor Wanted

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The Silver City Gospel Mission is looking for someone to take charge and supervise their garden for this next year.

This is a volunteer position, but it does have numerous benefits, including:

  • Excess produce for your home table
  • Labor to help you with the garden
  • Supplies, compost, seeds and water to run it
  • And last, but not least, the satisfaction of helping to feed those who are hungry!

In the back of the Mission we have had a very productive garden on some years and a so-so one on others, and it all depends on the help we have available to run it.

We can’t afford to hire another staff member to do it, so this past year the duties fell between the maintenance/food pick-up person and myself and it eventually became my responsibility entirely and to be honest, things kind of went to heck.

We have also tried using volunteer labor from those who show up for a while and then are gone and the ladies staying at our women’s shelter.  But we have also ran into problems when they leave or get full-time employment and once again, if the garden doesn’t get maintained on nearly a daily basis by someone who know what they are doing, it just doesn’t work out.

This year we are looking for someone to step up and take charge and come in for an hour or two just about every day.

It will be entirely your show and pretty much anything goes (within reason).

We have a large 54′ x 36′ area with drip hose and timers for planting, with about half of it with well-worked and composted soil.

We have a large greenhouse for seedlings or tomatoes, etc and a sun room off the back of the Mission that we have used as an herb garden, but has plenty of room for more.

And we still have the basics of a recirculating hydroponics system where we grew micro-greens that the ladies at our women’s shelter sold at the Farmer’s Market.

We would like someone who knows (or is willing to learn) about gardening in our Southwest and can plant, maintain and harvest a large area with help from the volunteers we get at the Mission daily.

We use the produce in the soup kitchen, but anything that we don’t use, you will be free to take and there is always a huge surplus after the soup kitchen gets theirs that we normally hand out if things are going well.

So if you have always wanted the space to garden and have everything you need to get and keep going except the ideas, please come down to the Mission and talk to Randy.

The Silver City Gospel Mission is located at 111 S. Texas Street in Downtown Silver City, behind Jalisco’s Restaurant and is open Mon-Fri between 8:30 am and 1:30 pm.  575-388-5071.


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