Local author JP Robinson gives food for thought with his Read 2 Feed program | Entertainment

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JP Robinson knows what it’s like to be hungry. The 36-year-old Lampeter-based author remembers looking in an empty fridge and cupboard while growing up in Long Island, New York. “It’s like looking at yourself and saying, ‘I’m not important enough,’ says Robinson. “Everyone is important enough to have a pizza or whatever they eat, and when I open the cupboard or the fridge and can’t see anything, it’s more like, ‘OK, that’s it. my reality, I have to deal with it, but it shouldn’t be like this. “

Robinson’s own experiences and his desire to help others led him to create a program that aims to reduce food insecurity in the local community. In 2020, Robinson launched a program called Read 2 Feed, which he is running again this year. The idea is for authors like Robinson with a book available on Amazon’s Kindle unlimited subscription platform to pledge 40% of their royalties through December 31 to benefit neighborhood ministries. Solanco.

“Now as an adult I’m in a position where I can help,” says Robinson. “I want to be the one to show people that you matter, that you are important, and that while you may not be able to do it on your own right now, we’re here to show you that we care enough. help you. outside. That’s the heart of it.

Caring enough to help

When Robinson was 13, his family experienced dire financial difficulties and they lost their home on Long Island. For 3.5 years, the family of five spent time living in their Oldsmobile and bathing with a sponge and bucket in a washroom at a local McDonald’s. Sometimes they broke up; his parents would move into a hotel, and he and his siblings would move in with various friends from the church.

Robinson remembers people dropping soda Irish breads and bagels of bagels (“New York bagels are the best,” he says) to his family as they grapple with food insecurity.

“It’s those memories that show me that someone cared enough about doing something to help,” says Robinson.

Read 2 Streams

Robinson is working on becoming a Chartered Real Estate Appraiser after a decade of teaching, most recently in the PA Virtual Charter School system. He says he was inspired to help tackle food insecurity because he personally knows people with the same issues he faced as a child.

“I had students who were homeless and facing food insecurity issues,” says Robinson. “So it’s not just a nebulous problem for me. These are people I know. Thus, by adopting this approach, Read 2 Feed was born.

Author of 10 books, including the most recent “In the Dead of the Night” – the conclusion to his historical World War I fiction and Christian series “The Northshire Heritage trilogy” – Robinson has found a way to benefit all those involved in the Read the 2 Feed program. The initiative raises awareness of the work of independent authors and the issue of food insecurity.

When Robinson launched Read 2 Feed in 2020, he was the sole author of the program. He was able to collect $ 200, which he gave to the ministries of the district of Solanco.

“One of the biggest challenges I face is convincing other writers – mostly independent writers – that giving up some of their royalties is a good decision for them,” said Robinson. “For better or for worse, there has to be some kind of incentive to get (the writers) moving. But the bigger question is, how can we meet this growing need in our country, our community? “

This year, Robinson was able to recruit two more authors.

“I think the program is a great thing because it helps people who need help with food, and it allows me to be able to show off my book, so it’s doubly cool,” says Kevin Hewitt, Ephrata, author of “Nobody Loves Jesus”, who pledged to donate part of his profits to Read 2 Feed.

Reading and Faith

Read 2 Feed combines the love of reading with the spirit of giving, an essential part of Robinson’s Christian faith. Both things, Robinson says, played a big role in his ability to overcome his struggles as a teenager.

“Books were my escape route. I could go back to the days of Robin Hood and read about him and his longbow or read fantastic stories so that I could go anywhere and experience life from a different perspective, ”says Robinson. “On a spiritual level, I think it was the grace of God and my faith that I learned from my parents … that got me through this.”

Robinson recalls meeting his mother one day at a laundromat around this time.

“I saw my parents sporadically – normally, once a week. It was really hard to meet my mom at a laundromat, and she looked at me and said, ‘I have cancer,’ ”says Robinson. “She lived a few more years, but it cost her her life. My father followed her two years later. He died of diabetes. So it was tragedy after tragedy.

Robinson says he followed his parents’ example of having a strong commitment to their faith and was able to get through this extremely difficult and uncertain time of dealing with homelessness, food insecurity and poverty. other struggles to rise above his situation.

“You go to school and smile and pretend it’s okay, but inside your pain,” Robinson says. “There were so many bad roads I could have taken that could have had devastating consequences. I thank God for not bringing them down.

Robinson spread his message of writing and faith as president of the Lancaster Christian Writers Association, a post he succeeded founder Jeanette Windle.

“JP Robinson has been a blessing and an answer to prayer in assuming the leadership role of Lancaster Christian Writers President,” said Windle. “He is not only a great, high adrenaline fictional writer, but he is passionate about helping other writers develop their talent, especially the next generation.”

Robinson says it’s not just the big gestures that can have an impact.

“You don’t always realize what a good deed can do for a person,” says Robinson. “The impact of what we do can last a lifetime. “

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