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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • Essential nourishment

  • There are many ways we receive nourishment.
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  • Something that encourages growth: something that provides a stimulating and healthy emotional or intellectual environment. (nourishment defined by bing dictionary) There are many ways we receive nourishment. Building connections is one way. "It is in our nature to want to be close to and valued by others consistently over time." (psychology today. com) Healthy connections are vital to our development. We are driven to connect with one another to ease loneliness and increase a sense of place in life. It's amazing to feel the sense of fulfilling nourishment, when connections are made, with people who share unconditional support or their authentic selves.
    In addition to making connections, trying something new can be a way to stimulate a healthy emotional and intellectual development. Taking up a new hobby, stepping out of your comfort zone to do something different, learning a new skill, or incorporating a healthy exercise routine. These and more can lead to growth.
    Another definition of nourishment, is one that comes to mind automatically, perhaps, "food or the valuable substances in food that a person, animal or plant requires to live, grow or remain fit and healthy." (bing.com) A very basic need and so essential to our development! Any other types of nourishment cannot begin to occur, if this one has not been satisfied. This year Sleepy Eye Public School offers free breakfast to all students. Some schools in New Ulm have adapted this initiative as well. I appreciate that every student is encouraged and offered something to eat, in order to get their day off to a good start.
    Basic statistics about hunger are alarming, but did you know that a little over 2,000 people in Brown County alone, experience food insecurity. This refers to USDA's measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods (feedingamerica.org/map-the-meal gap). "It wasn't my turn," said one little boy on why he didn't have breakfast one morning. The problem is serious.
    A great source of information and help is 2harvest.org. They have a program called SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, that offers food support for individuals and families. A woman named Sydelle McCabe, the SNAP outreach specialist, can help families in Brown, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Watonwan Counties apply for support. Did you know that food support isn't welfare? It's offered through the USDA. And recently they've taken away the food stamps and replaced it with a much more sensitive, debit card format.
    September is Hunger Action Month (feedamerica.org).
    Consider donating items to the food shelf, learn more about the problem, or check out sites to find other ways to help those who are hungry. Without this basic nourishment, people will miss out on the opportunity for further nourishment. Help out where you can!

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