LETTER: Learn about Madison County’s homeless population

To the editor:
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18, NIV 

Every day, Karing Kitchen realizes how blessed it is to have so many supporters that take action and assist with the needs of our community. From the United Way and their supporters, Food Bank CNY, Oneida Area Council of Churches, the Gorman Foundation, Catholic Charities, CAP, NYE Automotive Group, Community
Foundation CNY and so many more.  
Because of your continued generosity, Karing Kitchen continues to remain open to all regardless of residence, age or income, to advocate, improve and enhance the quality of life. Karing Kitchen provided more than 19,000 meals for the 2016 year, including meals for shut-ins, not including the families assisted for Christmas.
More than 2000 referrals were made to help individuals become more food secure (being able to provide food for their families). Each year, we see the increase in need not only in our program but other programs, as well. We cannot meet their needs without your assistance. March and April are the months that Karing Kitchen asks you to look and see what you may be able to assist us with. Perhaps it is a sleeve of bowls, a package of noodles, a can of olives. Whatever your contribution is, together with others, it will ensure that we are able to meet the needs of our community. 
Just assisting us in raising awareness of struggles in our community also can lead to self-awareness among our community’s families. One such issue is the homelessness in our county, people who may be afraid to discuss what is going on in their lives; afraid of being judged as their fault, their choice. They work but have other barriers to affordable housing. Our community may not be aware that we do not have a shelter in Madison County.
We are asking for action. We are asking all in the community to lower your heat, at home, at work, at the gym to raise awareness of homelessness in Madison County Friday, March 24. Tweet about what you are doing, share a Facebook page or send an email.
Meanwhile, I, Melissa King, Karing Kitchen coordinator, will sleep outdoors in a tent Friday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., in front of Karing Kitchen to bring awareness to the homelessness in our community. You are invited to join me or stop by and have a conversation.
Together, we are a community. Together, we make a difference in the lives we touch. Together, we stand stronger. Together let’s start the conversation and breakdown the barriers.
Sincerely, Melissa King, Karing Kitchen Coordinator, Food $en$e Coordinator

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