I was honored to attend the graduation ceremony for our third Speakers Bureau class in Bath this summer. These events are always
inspiring as we bear witness to the graduates’ powerful stories of poverty, trauma and incredible resilience. One of the common themes shared by many cohorts of this session was addiction and its impact on children, adults and families. As our graduates shared their experiences, I was reminded of Johann Hari’s TED Talk in which he states, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.”
At the Food Bank, we have long recognized the power of food to help build connections which are essential to developing healthy minds, bodies and communities. We often reflect on how we could not do our work without the support of our community. Our connections are integral to our success and the success of our partners. Community connections are also essential for the people we serve. No one is an island; no one is truly independent. We are all interdependent in a larger ecosystem comprised of family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, faith communities, schools, towns, counties, states and nations. It can be very easy to take these connections for granted, but they are vital to our ability to survive and thrive.
We are proud of the work we’ve done to build and sustain hunger-free communities throughout the Southern Tier. We will continue to push forward, grateful for the support of our partners, donors and volunteers who make everything possible.
Natasha R. Thompson
President & CEO