Imagine Amherst without poverty, hunger

Darrell Cole
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‘You may say I’m a dreamer’

Approximately 50 people were in attendance at the Imagine No Hunger event at First Baptist Church in Amherst on Friday.

Jim Scopie plays Imagine on the organ at First Baptist Church during a ceremony raising awareness of poverty, hunger and the need to shop locally.

AMHERST – Think of a community without hunger or poverty. It’s a message a group of people came together on Friday to consider during a special ceremony honoring one of John Lennon’s greatest hits.

Organized by the Empowering Beyond Barriers Society, Imagine No Hunger saw about 50 people come together at Amherst First Baptist Church to raise awareness about poverty and some food and cash donations for food banks in Amherst and Springhill.

“It’s a very powerful message, to think about people who are hungry or struggling in our community,” Colleen Dowe of Empowering Beyond Barriers said. “It’s important to think about the situation that many people find themselves in, not able to feed themselves or their families, living in poverty and not able to find a job.”

The ARHS Jazz Choir, The Fellas, Michelle LeBlanc and Susan Robichaud all gave performances of the iconic song by John Lennon while Jim Scopie played it on the church organ.

Rev. Byron Corkum of First Baptist said events such as Imagine No Hungry are important because they raise community awareness toward those who are struggling through life. It’s something that needs to be thought about through more than the holiday season.

“It’s crucial to think about it. We live in a society that’s so commercially driven that we forget sometimes that there are a number of people in need,” Corkum said. “We get into things like Halloween and Christmas and how much we spend, but there are a number of people who can’t afford to eat. We need to be reminded that we need to help people every day of the year and not just at this time.”

Robichaud said she was honoured to perform, adding it’s important to raise community awareness because people tend to forget there are those who are less fortunate.

“Sometimes we get caught up in getting ready for Christmas and we forget about those who really need help,” she said. “We also don’t think about the entire world and how luck we are to be here.”

CANSA executive director Liz Cooke-Sumbu said there are a lot of people in Amherst looking for work or in jobs that still prevent them from making ends meet. She said her office often hears from people in need at this time of year and suggested it’s going to take a community response.

Dowe said increased awareness is so important and goes beyond supporting local charity, but making spending decisions about increasing how much you buy locally.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Empowering Beyond Barriers Society, Amherst First Baptist Church

Geographic location: Amherst

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