Sometimes you can use or hear a word so much that it loses its meaning. “Awesome” is an example that comes to mind. It’s used to describe generally positive things or events, but how often is it used to describe something that truly induces awe?

“Hope” is another one. We can hope for a specific outcome or thing. Hope is something that can be given. It can also be dashed. Many of the Feeding Missouri food banks have some variation of hope in their slogan: “Providing hope” or “Sharing hope.”

But what does that mean? What does it look like? Why does it matter?

These are just some of the questions we hope to examine in 2018. We here at Feeding Missouri have designated 2018 as the Year of Hope.

It’s one thing to have a general understanding of hope, but quite another to really know what it means and, conversely, the impact an absence of hope can have on a person. Imagine a tough circumstance in your life where this was no hope of a positive outcome. No light at the end of the tunnel. No help on the horizon. Think of the feelings that would naturally accompany this situation: Loneliness, despair, sadness. You quickly begin to see what “hopelessness” looks like.

Now imagine you see a small light at the end of the tunnel. Someone comes along side to offer help. The slightest encouragement comes your way. You suddenly begin to realize that this current state of hopelessness may not last forever.

That changes everything.

One of the ways we’ll examine hope this year is through our acronym:



Possibilities, and


We’ll look at all of these facets throughout the year. And we encourage you to share your thoughts, too!

Ultimately, our goal is to help all of us gain a better understanding of why hope matters. Once we understand that, then maybe we’ll see why it’s so important that we work together to provide hope to someone who has none. To these people, hope isn’t just a word that’s thrown around. It’s an essential element to knowing that tomorrow could be better than today.