Intentional Living

Five Minute Friday: Hands

It’s Five Minute Friday, which means I join with hundreds of other fantastic bloggers to write together, all on a common theme. Check it out on Lisa-Jo’s blog!

Today’s prompt is: Hands.


On dozens of tables around the room, hands rested: young ones, scarred ones, ones with dirt under the nails, and ones soft as a scholar’s hands. They came together to address a concern in the community: people do not have enough to eat.


Tonight, I sat in a room with 80 others from my community as we gathered together to present ideas for addressing food security in my county: a situation that’s concerning, considering I live in a first world country. 14.2% of the families in my county are food insecure, and 24% of the children are. In fact, 73% of the kids in my county are on free or reduced price lunch. In the United States of America.

As the evening went on, hands waved expressively as the presenters spoke about their ideas for improving my community: more bus routes, walking clubs, kids cooking classes, community gardens, etc. Hands clapped enthusiastically and rose together in recognition of a common goal. Hands place stickers to vote for their favorite ideas, and hands wrote their names and signed up for the call to action.

food security

Change isn’t easy, and alone, seems impossible. But when each person lends a hand, the impossible suddenly becomes not only possible, but probably. I saw people come alive tonight, ready to change a struggling community. From all walks a of life, we sat down together, hand a meal, and talk about the real problems in my southeastern Iowa town.


All hands were on board tonight, and I foresee great changes. Amazingly, someone came forth with guaranteed funding for the most popular idea. And the potential is incredible.

We tend to assume that food insecurity happens in other countries or other town, but it happens around the corner too. And now, I get to be a part of seeing many hands come together to improve a community’s access to safe, healthy food.




14 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Hands

  1. How awesome is this?! Makes me want to find out if we have a community garden or something that I could be part of. Way to be His hands and feet, Jen!

    1. Yes! Look in your community, you might find one! If not, I can totally help you start one. 😉 (That’s sorta my job). It’s been a fun journey, but our gardens are planted, one is sold out, and we are already harvesting a few things!

  2. Oh shoot! I had a whole, lovely comment typed up, and my patchy internet lost it somewhere in cyberspace! I’ll try my best to recreate the gist of it…

    I am so excited for your community after reading this post. So many people are focused on throwing money at the starving children in developing countries. This is a worthy cause, no doubt, but we can’t forget about those who live next door or down the street. It is no less noble to feed a hungry child in Iowa than in Tanzania. May God bless you and your community as you work to feed the future doctors, ambassadors, and missionaries that will come out of your town!

    1. Don’t you hate it when that happens Andrea?? Been there, done that. 🙂

      I lived among those starving kids in Africa for two and a half years, and it was hard because programs didn’t really exist in my super-rural-desert village to help them. But I tried to teach them to garden. It was hard coming back home to the USA where wealth is abundant, and so is food, and find that there were still hungry people. You’ve hit the nail on the head-they are important too, and their potential shines bright, despite their current circumstances!

    1. So the super cool thing about how this all was set up, is that our action items came from 7 different small groups that each met for 8 hours of discussion time over the last month. We discussed the situation, the problems, the good things, and the bad things, and then talked about what we would like to see changed. Words, then action. It was amazing.

  3. I’ve been following your story and this is a perfect fit for the heart you have to serve. Isn’t God awesome? Just love how he works. I pray great blessing on your new project. Have a great weekend Jen! Stopping by from FMF …<…Cathy

    1. Thanks Cathy! I’ve been blessed by being part of this project, and I am super excited to see the action happening in my community. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I loved hearing about the initiative to secure food for those struggling in your community. I hope you will continue to update as this unfolds. I have a heart for kids who don’t have enough to eat so I will be interested in hearing more. Blessed I stopped by from FMF! Happy Weekend! Mary

  5. It’s inspiring to hear that a community came together to address a definite need. Hands and hearts in action! Enjoyed your post. I hope that fewer people are hungry in your town (no one is!), and that I can see those in need around me and help. #FMFparty

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