By Veronica Burniston
As Americans gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving and
the blessing of family, it is important to remember the times of famine – that is, the time life
was not so kind, prosperous, or blessed.
For some, COVID-19 may have them currently in a time of famine – a lost job or income, a lost social life, a lost loved one.
Looking back to the foundation of Thanksgiving Day, the Pilgrims knew both famine and plenty.
In the winter of 1621-1622, not long after the three-day harvest feast of Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims were once again acquainted with difficult times. With thirty-five new settlers who recently arrived at Plymouth, the colony’s winter supplies disappeared quickly. A daily ration became necessary for survival: five kernels of corn a day were allotted to each person.
One fateful day, a ship from Virginia bound for England happened into the harbor. Although the ship’s rations themselves were too low to trade, the captain traded what corn he had for beaver pelts from the Pilgrims. The additional corn supply was enough to get them through the winter without a single colonist dying of starvation.
The following year, the harvest proved fruitful despite a terrible twelve-week drought earlier in the season. When the Pilgrims gathered for a second feast of Thanksgiving, each had five kernels of corn placed on their plate to remind them of the time of famine and to rejoice with Thanksgiving in the time of plenty.
Just as the Pilgrims remembered, let each family remember life’s past or
current hardships and famines.
It is vital to remember such times so thankfulness will be at its fullest.
It is also vital to remember hardships, so in times of plenty, one family can help another, one individual
can support another, one neighbor can provide for another.
In thankfulness for life’s plenty, give a blessing to someone in need, whether it be sharing a family recipe with a neighbor, a kind word with a friend, a box of canned goods with a stranger, or an invitation to the table of thankfulness.
If interested in donating canned goods to help a member of the community in need, here are several local food pantries:
• Hale Community Ministries (727-1521) located at 359 Industrial Dr.
• First Christian Church (727-9151) at 401 W. Main St.
• St. Anthony Catholic Church (727-5156) at 833 W. Main St.