Wheat for a Penny

‘A Measure of Wheat for a Penny’: ‘A perfect storm’: US facing hunger crisis as demand for food banks soars. The demand for food aid has increased as much as eightfold (8) in some areas. A ‘new era’ in foodbank demand.

Foreshadow Now, ‘Season of the End Times’:

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period

… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor.

The world is fast approaching a “climate apartheid” where only the wealthy can afford basic food resources in the face of fatal droughts, famine and heatwaves, while the rest of the world suffers. Revelation 6:5-6 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

‘A Measure of Wheat for a Penny’: ‘A perfect storm’: US facing hunger crisis as demand for food banks soars. The demand for food aid has increased as much as eightfold (8) in some areas. A ‘new era’ in foodbank demand.

Nina Lakhani in New York The Guardian•April 2, 2020

An unprecedented number of Americans have resorted to food banks for emergency supplies since the coronavirus pandemic triggered widespread layoffs.

The demand for food aid has increased as much as eightfold in some areas, according to an investigation by the Guardian, which gives a nationwide snapshot of the hunger crisis facing the US as millions become unemployed.

How to help

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 40 (8×5) million Americans relied on food banks to get enough to eat. Now, the demand for emergency food aid is growing exponentially as millions of people lose their jobs. 

As this demand grows, food banks are receiving far fewer donations from retailers as people are buying in bulk, so stocks are low. This means food banks must buy more supplies to make sure they have enough to feed every hungry American asking for help.

Donate money or supplies

The Feeding America network of 200 food banks secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. They help vulnerable communities including the elderly and disabled, as well as providing free nutritional lunches for school children from low-income families.

If you want to help, find your local food bank, and go to their website to donate. You can also donate to Feeding America’s Covid-19 response fund.

Volunteers

Food banks rely on volunteers, and Feeding America and food pantries across the US urgently need help as most regular volunteers are senior citizens who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. If you are interested in becoming a new volunteer, use Feeding America’s tool to find your local food bank or pantry but please get in touch with them first before showing up. Remember, if you’re worried about your own health or the risk to a family member, “stay home” is the advice.

Social media

Feeding America also says you can help in small ways like following your local food bank on social media and sharing what they are doing online, or by becoming an advocate for the fight to end hunger in America.

About one in three people seeking groceries at not-for-profit pantries last month have never previously needed emergency food aid, according to interviews with a dozen providers across the country.

The national guard has been deployed to help food banks cope with rising demand in cities including Cleveland, Phoenix and St Louis amid growing concerns that supplies may run low as the crisis evolves. Overstretched food pantries are switching to drive-thrus and home deliveries to minimize the spread of Covid-19 as almost 300 million Americans are urged to stay at home.

“I’ve been in this business over 30 years, and nothing compares to what we’re seeing now. Not even when the steel mills closed down did we see increased demand like this,” said Sheila Christopher, director of Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, which represents 18 food banks across 67 counties.

Last year, 4.3bn meals were distributed to more than 40 million Americans through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries, schools, soup kitchens and shelters, according to Feeding America, the national food bank network. The working poor, elderly and disabled and infirm accounted for the vast majority of food bank users.

This week, the Guardian contacted food banks and pantries in nine states, which all reported unprecedented demand, plummeting donations from retailers, and a fall in personnel due to the coronavirus crisis.

In Amherst, home to the University of Massachusetts’ largest campus, the pantry distributed 849% more food in March compared with the previous year. The second-largest increase in western Massachusetts was 748% at the Pittsfield Salvation Army pantry.

The Grace Klein community food pantry in Jefferson county, which has the largest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Alabama, provided 5,076 individuals with food boxes last week – a 90% increase on the previous week.

In southern Arizona, demand has doubled, with pantries supplying groceries to 4,000 households every day – double the number supplied in March 2019. “We saw an increase during the federal government shutdown but nothing as rapid, massive or overwhelming as this,” said Michael McDonald, CEO of the Community Food Bank of South Arizona.

A helpline set up by the Greater Pittsburgh community food bank has received more than a thousand calls in the past two weeks, 90% of which came from newly unemployed people. Here, pantries ordered 50% to 60% more food for March and April than usual.

The Lakeview pantry in Chicago is on track to provide food for as many as 2,000 individuals this week – compared with 1,100 before the coronavirus crisis.

The north Florida food bank, which relied heavily on contributions from retailers, has seen donations drop by 85% to 90% as shoppers bulk-buy, leaving shelves empty. But donations from restaurants, golf tournaments and even Disney World have increased, so the food bank is switching to ready meals, paying furloughed chefs to cook for thousands of senior citizens in housing facilities.

In Las Vegas, the Three Square food bank has increased weekly food distribution by 30%, from 1m to 1.3m lbs of food. New drive-thru distribution centres have been set up across the valley as 170 of its 180 distribution outlets have been forced to temporarily close due to CDC social distancing guidelines. “Every line at every distribution centre exceeds the amount of food in our trucks,” said president Larry Scott.

The Kansas City-based Harvesters food bank, which serves 16 counties in north-east Kansas and 10 in north-west Missouri, sent out 12,000 boxes to pantries on Monday 23 March – a 140% rise on the 5,000 boxes typically ordered. “It was the largest distribution day in our 40-year history,” said its communications manager, Gene Hallinan.

This snapshot is representative of the national picture, according to Feeding America. “This is a perfect storm impacting food banking as we know it,” said a spokeswoman, Zuani Villarreal.

On Tuesday, Cleveland police and the Ohio national guard helped load boxes of groceries into cars at a new drive-thru pick-up service located in the huge downtown municipal car park.

At least 2,765 families were provided with a week’s groceries – 36% of them first-timers – compared with 1,500 at a similar event last week, when the queue stretched almost three miles. A cab driver, single mother who worked in hospitality and freelance photographer were among those requesting help for the first time.

The rust belt states are among the hardest hit by the coronavirus economic crisis. More than 187,000 Ohioans filed for unemployment benefits during the third week of March when businesses were closed by the governor – an extraordinary increase on the 7,046 claims filed the previous week, according to the Department of Labor.

The Greater Cleveland food bank received 800 calls to its helpline during one day last week – eight times the usual number. “I’ve never seen anything like it in over 20 years of service. We’re seeing people from every socio-economic level because the majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck,” said the food bank’s CEO, Kristin Warzocha.

Half of American adults have either no emergency savings or not enough to cover three months of living expenses, according to Bankrate’s 2019 Financial Security Index.

Demand tripled

There was a similar dramatic scene in Phoenix, Arizona, where 1,500 people queued up for food boxes at the St Mary’s main office – compared with 450 just two weeks ago. Here, the national guard is also pitching in at the makeshift drive-thru centre as volunteer numbers have plummeted from 250 a day to less than 50, as the vast majority are senior citizens advised to stay home to minimize the risk of Covid-19.

In total, St Mary’s – the oldest known food bank in the world – supplies 700 pantries, shelters, churches and social service centres in seven counties where one in five children struggle with hunger.

“First we saw people who lived paycheck to paycheck, got laid off and didn’t know where the next meal was coming from, followed by those who had a couple of weeks of savings. Now, people who knew about us because they donated or volunteered are coming in for food,” said Jerry Brown, media spokesman for St Mary’s. “The 2008 recession doesn’t touch this. It’s a different ballgame.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic, about 37 million, or one in eight, Americans could not always access enough nutritional food to lead healthy, active lives. Food insecurity forces families to make tradeoffs between basic needs such as housing, medical bills and food, and many do not qualify for federal nutrition programs.

The government rescue packages include some measures to help alleviate food insecurity such as expanding eligibility for food stamps, increasing commodities donations from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and providing $1,200 to every American earning under $99,000.

But experts warn that help has been slow, patchy and inadequate so far.

 “Philanthropy and not-for-profits are not going to be able to meet food demands. The government needs to step in,” said Kellie O’Connell, chief executive of the Lakeview pantry in Chicago.

Caitlin Welsh, director of global food security at the Washington based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said: “The supply chain is strong but as the number of food insecure people increases continuously, we’ll perhaps need a new wave of federal legislation directed specifically at household food security.

“These numbers show that the pandemic is causing economic shocks never experienced in our lifetime.”

(Night Watchman Note: What will happen when millions of Christians suddenly ‘disappear’ in the ‘twinkling of an eye”??? Those who may be first-responders, doctors, nurses, support staff, policemen, firefighters, homeless volunteers, those in the red cross or other emergency aid and relief organizations, in the national guard or military, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. You get the picture.)

1 Corinthians 15:52

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Categories: Wheat for a Penny

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