I am in a place that the Lord has made. Sitting in a chair on my balcony, waiting patiently for a meteorite shower to commence, I spy the single light on top of the mountain in front of me. I am in Whistler, Canada, known in the summertime for its world class mountain biking and in the winter for its sought-after ski slopes. Having visited over 10 countries, this mountain town less than a day’s drive from home remains one of my very favorite places in the world. Life here seems idyllic, especially for the many mountain sport enthusiasts who inhabit this place. For me, Whistler is also special as I come here to enjoy nature, relax and recharge. The vibe in town is friendly, adventurous and open, plus God’s creation is always in full song. Just being here puts me at ease.

Over the years I have paddled the rivers, walked amongst the tree tops and dangled in the gondolas, but this is the first year that as I have walked out of the grocery store I have noticed collection bins for the local food bank (which is not to say they were not there before.) Earlier in the week my mom told me about a sign she saw at the library, so, my ELCA World Hunger brain intrigued, I Googled the local food bank as well as the local library to learn about the community’s social service programs. A local non-profit society provides over 20 programs from the food bank to a thrift center…pretty cool! As far as the collection bins I saw, while the local groceries are collecting donations, the library is also creatively involved. A periodic program called Food for Fines allows library fines to be paid in non-perishable food donations which go to the local food bank. (One food item equals up to $2.00 in fine repayment.) In a town masked by adventure, fun and extraordinary mountain homes, hunger still exists. For me, it makes this place that much more real, and serves as a reminder that hunger and poverty are all around.

~Lana Lile