What does hope mean to you?

Hope is one of those words that tend to lose a bit of power with overuse, but when hope is alive and at work in the life of someone in need, it is one of the most powerful forces known to man.

So what is hope exactly?

The Feeding Missouri network of food banks and agencies sees a lot of people who have lost hope. These men and women are struggling to imagine a brighter tomorrow.

Something special happens though, when these same hopeless people come through the doors of a food pantry and receive help in the form of food. On the surface, they are taking food to meet their basic needs, but something more significant is taking root.

You see, a box of food is greater than the sum of its contents. That box is a tangible symbol that people do care. It’s a lifeline thrown to someone in need. It’s a seed of hope that will eventually help a person to harvest a brighter future.

Here at Feeding Missouri, we have an acronym we use that explains what HOPE really does for our neighbors in need. We say that HOPE allows struggling families to:

Harvest Optimism, Possibilities, and Endurance.


Hope is an internal thing. Hope can be inspired or planted by others, but it must be nurtured and cultivated within.


Most successful journeys begin with a clear goal in mind. Hope provides the positive outlook that is often one of the most important tools we have when faced with adversity.


Without hope, people may feel trapped or stuck without any chance of changing their circumstances. With hope, a person can see and imagine ways out of the rut.


If hope isn’t at work in a struggling person’s life, the easiest thing to do in the midst of adversity is to give up. Hope provides the endurance necessary to keep striving to achieve those goals.

Let’s join together in making 2018 the year of HOPE for our neighbors in need. The seeds of hope we plant by supporting the work of Feeding Missouri’s network of food banks and agencies will grow into a stronger and brighter future for us all.