Despite limited gatherings, many people in Madison and Lake County had abundant food last week, with hams, turkeys, side dishes and desserts overflowing on plates.

But others in our community are hungry, a cruel irony that concerns us. We need to think about how we can bridge that gap.

For perspective, the Lake County Food Pantry distributed more than 6,000 pounds of food for its Christmas project. The volunteers distributed that amount of food to 155 Lake County families in one day.

The Gathering, a mission project of the United Methodist Church in Madison, serves a free meal on Monday evenings. Drive by sometime on Monday about 5 p.m. and see the long line of cars waiting for the meal. Better yet, join the dozens of generous businesses and organizations -- along with hundreds of volunteers -- who help make the project possible.

While it isn't possible to donate "leftovers," we really should be thinking about food donations during the weeks after Christmas. Certainly, hunger is a year-round issue and doesn't go away permanently after a big meal or two.

There are many contributing factors to why people are in the position of being hungry, and we want to do our best to solve the underlying causes. But in the meantime, hungry people still need food.

We believe the Lake County Food Pantry is the "go-to" organization to address short-term hunger problems in our area. The organization has a long history, is deeply respected and deserves any resources we can send their way.

-- Jon M. Hunter