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Blunting Hunger Pangs

calfreshWATSONVILLE > Friday discussion aims to spread awareness of CalFresh eligibility

Santa Cruz County has been taking advantage of more food assistance programs than ever over the last few years, but Second Harvest Food Bank thinks that public awareness of available resources could use a boost.

This Friday, May 11, Second Harvest Food Bank will hold an event highlighting the CalFresh program (formerly known as food stamps and now federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). According to a Second Harvest press release, CalFresh is being seriously underutilized.

“Currently, less than 50 percent of eligible Californians are benefiting from this valuable program,” says Second Harvest’s Deborah Yashar in the press release.

Food aid programs in Santa Cruz have been seeing spikes in use over the past several years. In 2003, 32,618 people in Santa Cruz County were served by the Second Harvest Food Bank. By 2010, that number had grown to 52,400.

 

Students benefiting from free or reduced cost school meals have also increased in number—while still below the California average, students receiving these benefits went from 36.4 percent of students to 50.9 percent.

The number of Santa Cruz County residents living below the poverty line is steadily climbing as well, so programs like CalFresh may be more relevant than ever.

The event will feature several guess speakers, including assemblymembers Bill Monning and Luis Alejo, Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law & Poverty, Claudine Wildman of the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department, and others. It is being sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Central Coast Hunger Coalition, and other local food aid relief agencies.

The event will be held Friday, May 11 at 8 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 229 Stanford St. in Watsonville.

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We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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