On Passover, we read about the ten plagues God unleashed on the Egyptians. The plagues we see today, however, are not punishments from God, but ones of our own doing – the awful, unintended consequences of our own actions and inactions. As we read each of these plagues aloud, we dip a finger into the wine and touch a drop onto our plate. This reminds us that, even as we celebrate freedom, our freedom is not complete when others still suffer.
(Dip your finger in your glass and place a drop of wine on the plate for each plague.)
1. A single mother who gives the last bits of food to her toddler while she goes hungry.
2. A brother and sister in a rural community who live too far away to participate in the summer feeding program and miss meals during the summer months.
3. A military family who struggles to make ends meet on the salary of a low ranking enlisted soldier and resorts to anonymously getting a monthly food box at the local pantry to feed their children.
4. A middle school student who doesn’t take the free school breakfast because he is ashamed of being poor.
5. A senior who makes painful choices between paying for medicine or food, but doesn’t apply for SNAP because he finds the application process overwhelming.
6. A recently unemployed mom who is worried about getting a new job that pays enough to cover her childcare costs.
7. A recent veteran facing difficulty transitioning back to civilian life and making ends meet, but isn’t aware of nutrition assistance benefits to help him.
8. An American Indian family living on a reservation who faces many barriers to healthy eating, including severe poverty and unemployment, limited options for fresh produce, and exceptionally high food prices.
9. A young couple living in an area with very limited job opportunities or employment and training programs, worried about losing vital SNAP benefits because of harsh time limits.
10. APATHY, the greatest plague of all — the failure to make ending hunger a national priority.
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