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Blame it on the snow, the tinsel, the smell of Scotch tape when I'm wrapping presents.

I get emotional around Christmas and usually buy a load of food for Care and Share. Maybe you do the same thing. And, like me, you might not think about giving again until the next time you buy a frozen turkey.

Spirit of the season, right?

Problem is, the food and money we give during the holidays are as fleeting as our feelings of goodwill.

Right now, Care and Share is facing a crisis (cover story). The crappy economy means more people need help, and it's more expensive for Care and Share to provide that help. Also, food donations are down.

If nothing changes, many people are going to go hungry soon. And not just here; nationally, surplus supplies from the federal government dropped from $233 million in 2004 to $67 million in 2006.

Care and Share chief operating officer Alex Edwards says you won't necessarily see this problem unfolding in front of your eyes.

"It's definitely kind of a hidden issue," he says.

That's because friends, neighbors and relatives may not want to admit that an unexpected bill or lost job is keeping them from putting food on the table.

They depend on Care and Share. And Care and Share depends on us.

J. Adrian Stanley

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