Okay, when you saw the title above you probably assumed that I was going to talk about the latest hit movie “The Hunger Games”.  Sorry, I’m not. Not really. Actually, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I HAVE read the YA series by Suzanne Collins that the movie is made from.  (I work at the library, which means you are “required” to read the novel before you see the movie if you don’t want to be subjected to all kinds of ridicule.)

The book follows Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year old girl who lives in the post-apocalyptic world of North America, now called Panem. Panem has been split into 12 districts which are controlled by the Capitol. As punishment for a previous rebellion, each district must send a boy and a girl to participate in an annual televised event in which contestants are forced to kill each other until there is only one survivor.

Here are two post-apocalyptic survival books available for checkout. (Just in case)
By United State Department of the Army

The theme of the book is poverty, oppression, hunger and survival. Pretty grim topics, but for some people these are not fictional issues. They exist here and now.


I’ve been thinking about the  “Hunger” part lately.  Not the “wondering what to fix for supper” kind of hunger, but what it would be like to really BE hungry. (The kind of hunger that I, thankfully, have never known. )  Maybe it’s because the Chesapeake Public Library system is currently hosting our annual “Food For Fines” event, where library fines are waived for patrons bringing in food items for donation to Chesapeake food pantries.

Do a good deed and all is forgiven. Libraries dispense absolution?  Yes, but this small sacrament alone will not solve the problem of hunger. More needs to be done.

Recently, I was part of a panel which discussed a library partnership with the Chesapeake Agriculture Department and the Plant-A-Row program. (See Links)  June through September every year the excess produce grown by Chesapeake residents on their own land can be donated to the city’s hungry through this group.  This is an easy way for those who have more than they need to help those who need more than they have.


As you can see from the linked calendar, however, Seasonal Produce Calendar people cannot survive on the leftovers from local gardens alone.  Plans are in the works at Central to provide storytimes and workshops centering around gardening and food production. We envision programs that will teach patrons about beekeeping, edible landscaping, butterflies, vermiculture, and seed saving techniques.


Meanwhile, the library has lots of free information available on these topics and many more.All you need is your library card.

Eat Your Yard by Nan Chase

Your Eco-friendly Yard by Tom Girolamo
Front Yard Gardens by Liz Primeau
Grow great grub by Gayla Trail
Garden Anywhere by Alys Fowler
 The Small Budget Gardener by Maureen Gilmer

Though many could surely benefit from having the knowledge needed to grow their own food, some do not have the space needed or lack the ability to maintain a garden. What we need are some community gardens where the spaces are tended collectively by one group – or else allotments, which are parcels of land made available to individuals or families. Many European countries use these systems successfully.

Hunger is a result of poverty, but poverty has many causes. The best cure for poverty is work. Right now, many people are out of work. Either they cannot find a job or they had one and lost it due to the economy.  It’s hard to keep food on the table when you don’t work. Chesapeake Public Library offers help in this indirectly by assisting patrons in their job search by providing free internet access, offering classes on how to write a resume, and updates job skills by teaching basic computer classes in Word and Excel. (See Video Link)
Job Help at the Library

Think a minute. Donate.
“35 million people in the U.S. are hungry or don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and 13 million of them are children. If another country were doing this to our children, we’d be at war.”
— Jeff Bridges
 “God comes to the hungry in the form of food” –Mahatma Gandhi
 Hunger.  Is it REAL or NOT REAL?   What would Katniss say?
(Please read the link above.  It will help you to see how  poverty and hunger affects people.)
May the odds be ever in your favor.
P.S.   from an email I received:  
How To Plant Your Garden
First, you come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.
For the garden of your daily living, plant three rows of peas.
1.  Peace of mind
2.  Peace of heart
3.  Peace of soul
Next plant four rows of squash.
1.  Squash gossip
2.  Squash indifference
3.  Squash grumbling
4.  Squash selfishness
Plant four rows of lettuce.
1.  Lettuce be faithful
2.  Lettuce be kind
3.  Lettuce be patient
4.  Lettuce really love one another
No garden should be without turnips.
1.  Turnip for meetings
2.  Turnip for service
3.  Turnip to help one another
To conclude, you must have thyme.
1.  Thyme for God
2.  Thyme for each other
3.  Thyme for family
4.  Thyme for friends
Water freely with patience, cultivate with love and hope that there is much fruit in your garden because you always reap what you sow.


Born to read, forced to work.

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