Letter: Support the annual Freeport Freeze Out

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When we take account of our communities, we recognize that the people who are cold and hungry today are the people we know and see everyday. The students who come to school hungry are our children’s classmates. The families who are struggling to keep their house warm are our neighbors. This is exactly what Freeport Community Services’ Sue Mack demonstrates when she stands outside, awake and cold, for 24 hours in the annual February Freeze Out.

In recent years, the number of people who come to FCS’ Food Pantry to supplement their food has increased markedly. Last year alone brought a 15 percent increase in people who need this assistance. For help with heating fuel, FCS has seen a nearly 10 percent increase in appeals to the Carol Kaplan Fuel Fund. With this winter’s low temperatures and continued federal cuts in LIHEAP, 2014 is on track to increase this number again.

This Saturday, Feb. 15, marks the beginning of the 10th Annual Freeze Out. It begins at 10 a.m. in front of the First Parish Church on Main Street in Freeport and goes through 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16. Sue Mack will lead a group of volunteers who stay outside and awake for 24 hours. Their purpose is two-fold: gather donations of food and money, but also raise awareness that the cold and hungry people among us are in fact, one of us. Neither food nor heat should be luxury items. Please donate and please feel welcome to come join Sue this weekend.

State Rep. Sara Gideon