Monday, February 16, 2009

Back on My Soapbox: Help Your Local Food Pantries!

Do you feel like I rant about this topic endlessly? Well I do carry on about it quite a bit. But one of my core beliefs is that we are obligated to help those less fortunate than us and it's unconscionable to me that so many people in our society go hungry every day.

It's simply not that difficult or expensive to donate extra food to local food pantries. And food donations have an incredible immediate impact in ways that other donations don't. We must have food to live. Children must have proper nutrition to grow up healthy. Going to school on an empty stomach has been shown to cause kids to have trouble with concentration, etc.

I don't know anyone who is unaffected by the current economic situation and you may be thinking that you simply don't have any extra money to buy a bunch of food for others. I beg to differ. Grocery stores are constantly offering buy one, get one free specials. Every weekend when I review the coupon inserts, I often find coupons for free items. Rather than toss out the coupons you won't use, why not use them to buy items for the food pantry? Buy one or two extra items each week and in no time you'll have a bag of food to drop-off at your local pantry. Clean out your own pantry. Do you have items you bought and haven't eaten, but are not expired yet (food pantries don't take expired food)? I'm sure you do. We all do. Pack them up.

In addition to donations being down and demand being up because of the current economic crisis, food pantries also have another blow against them: the peanut recall. Think about it. A staple in many homes is peanut butter. But because of the peanut recall, food pantries are forced to toss out otherwise perfectly good food in order to avoid sickening any of their clients.

The bottom line is food pantries desperately need our help. Will you join me in easing their burden?

1 comment:

  1. Rant away and do not stop. Both the church I attend and the one I work at have food pantry related activities.

    The one that I attend donates food to a local non-denominational pantry. Each week we coordinate with them and while they will gratefully accept everything, they request specifics that are running low that week. The response at our parish has been overwhelming - with specific instructions people bring so much more. It is unreal, beautiful and great.

    Where I work we run a food pantry. No questions are asked - well just one - how many do you need to feed? I take the info down and contact the coordinator who meets up with the family in need and gives them food plus grocery store gift cards in order to buy perishables.

    Rant rant rant. Food is basic and people need it.


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