When I started Bracken’s Kitchen, over 3 years ago, I was astounded by the experiences that I was able to have while building our little kitchen that can. I thought I was “AWARE” of the world we lived in and the many challenges both good and bad that face so many people. OK, maybe not aware of the world but certainly these United States.
When my experiences kicked in and overwhelmed me with “AWE” by what I was blessed to witness and feel I knew then that I wanted to write a regular blog to share that with you, our followers, supporters and anyone who might happen across it.
This ride with Betsy has truly been one that has and will continue to change me deep inside. As I look back at more than 30 years in the professional kitchen cooking for the likes of presidents, movie stars, and athletic superstars nothing can compare to this ride with Betsy and cooking for those living at the bottom. In fairness though, I must admit having Paul Haggis write me into a cameo role in Family law was quite an experience. I mean, how many times does a guy have to say “Hey Joe, are you coming for dinner” before he got it right.
The problem with writing a blog is that it takes time, talent and skill, none of which I have much of. So, every now and then when I am able to find the time to share something with you I hope and pray that it is meaningful enough that you will overlook my horrendous writing skills in order to see the heart of the message.
That is the case here. For this particular story I have actually chosen to share a recent email with you. I changed or X’d out some names with confidentiality in mind. When we started Bracken’s Kitchen our focus was on individuals who are living on the economic cliff and are forced to choose between high quality and nutritious food and other life necessities on a daily basis. While that is still our focus my heart has been pulled towards our children and youth, our elderly and our military veterans.
All three of these groups are at risk in a variety of ways. Needless to say I think we all understand the risks that kids who are too young to fend for themselves face. Especially those who do not have the family structure to provide for them.
I have often said that if we are blessed to live a full and complete circle of life then we will go out the same way we begin it. Not being able to fend for, take care of or feed ourselves is the way that so many people exit this world. As we age and lose our ability to provide for ourselves we are forced to rely on others for the basics including food.
And finally our military veterans who have sacrificed so much to defend all of our freedom and as a result face a variety of personal, health and financial challenges.
As a country and a people we bear the burden of helping those who need it most. Regardless of our beliefs, faith or feelings about our fellow man we all know the right and just thing to do is to help out whenever and wherever we can.
With that in mind I am sharing this email. In reading it I hope it might move you to get involved somewhere or somehow and #DoSomething. As I always say, we very much appreciate your love and support and in fact need it for our very existence. However, if Bracken’s Kitchen is not for you that is fine but I urge you, I implore you to get involved and help out. Someday you might need it too.
I am a Veteran, I live at a place called The XXXX, I have been here for 5 months.
We are homeless and the VA provides room and board until we can find our own place with the Section 8 housing voucher that they also provide.
The problem is the food that they have been giving us is insufficient in nutrition.
NO MEAT, hash browns, a bagel with cream cheese is the typical breakfast.
Lunch is a kiddy bag consisting of 1 sandwich made with two slices of white bread, one thin slice of meat, one slice of meat looks like cheese, a small 4oz juice and a cookie
The other choice is a lunch consisting of 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with the same juice and Cookie.
I cannot believe that they are feeding us like this. Most of us are older with health problems.
I had one of your delicious sandwiches at the Veterans event at the Richard Nixon Library last week. It was AMAZING.
We will even take leftovers.
Can you help us?