Thursday, November 23, 2023

The Unseen Guests

Farmers who plant and tend the crops. Workers who harvest them. Truckers who bring the food to market. 

Farmers who raise animals for food. Workers who process the meat. More truckers, more workers, more transport.

Workers who process fruits and vegetables, canned foods, frozen foods, baked foods, dried foods, fresh foods.

More truckers, more workers, more transport.  Sometimes moving food by train, ship, or by air.

Grocery store workers who receive and handle the goods, prepare it for sale.

Food service workers who prepare and cook food and sell it to customers.

Restaurant workers who prep, cook, serve, clean, and do it again.

Delivery workers who bring the food to you.

Not all of these people live in Howard County. But, if you are eating any food at all today, they have a place at your table. Nothing would be on it without them. 

In May of 2020 I wrote a piece about how some folks were protesting that they hadn’t been designated as “essential workers.”

Today’s news: there are people in Howard County who feel oppressed because other people are called essential workers and they aren’t. As a reminder, essential workers include everyone involved in hospital/medical care, and the folks who make sure you are able to get food and medicine. Oh, and childcare for other essential workers.

Those people who make sure you are able to get food? Today is a good day to remember them. Here in Howard County, they need what everyone needs: a living wage. A decent place to live that they can afford. A community that values them and their work.

Years ago I saw a television promo for the Simpsons where someone, possibly Bart or Homer, was saying the Grace before Thanksgiving dinner.

"Dear God, everything that's on this table I put here myself, so thanks for nothing."

Whether your day involves saying a prayer before a meal or clinking glasses in a toast, you absolutely will not have put everything on your table all by yourself. Others you will never see were essential in getting there. 

Remember them at your table. Remember them tomorrow. Remember them when you think about issues of housing and fair wages. They, too, deserve something to be thankful for.

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