Guest Column: Giving Thanks
Marlene Anielski
November 16, 2015
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The holiday season is upon us again, and with it comes a hectic schedule of decorating the house and planning an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner, all in preparation to spend the holiday with family and friends. While the stress of Thanksgiving may start to take over, it’s important to keep the ultimate purpose of the holiday in mind: giving thanks.

For many of us, there are an abundance of blessings for to be thankful for. Personally, I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the 6th House District, a position that I truly cherish daily. I am also thankful for the men and women who defend our freedoms at home and overseas. Mostly, I am grateful for my supportive family and friends who I am privileged to be able enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with.

For some, however, the struggle to put food on the table can make Thanksgiving a difficult holiday to celebrate. It may surprise many to know that Ohio is ranked sixth in the nation for our high rate of food insecurity. According to a 2014 study by Hunger in America, more than 574,000 people in Northeast Ohio utilize our local hunger programs, with the holidays resulting in the highest demand. Due to this increase, Thanksgiving proves to be an excellent time to donate supplies, or even volunteer an hour or two for those less fortunate.

Recently, I introduced House Bill 111, legislation that incentivizes restaurants to donate food to our local pantries. By working on this legislation and volunteering time to help serve, I have discovered the tremendous impact that the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, and various other food pantries, has throughout our community. These organizations work tirelessly to ensure that families are not only able to put a meal on the table, but provide produce and other resources to guarantee that meal is well balanced. With the busiest time of year just around the corner, there is no more rewarding time to contribute to this cause than the holidays.

Thanksgiving is not only a time to reflect on our blessings, but to also demonstrate our gratitude. Together, when we can give just a little time and effort, it goes a long way toward making someone else’s holiday season brighter.


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