The Thanksgiving Holiday is just about 9 days away.
I’m so grateful for so many things this year. I’ve got a good job. I’m fairly healthy. I’ve got good friends.
And I am definitely not hungry.
As the US economy is so unstable at this moment, there are more and more people going hungry throughout America.
This bothers me. I mean, it is one thing to work with hungry kids in Africa….
And a whole other thing to think about kids in the US, being almost as hungry. One of my friends teaches at a local elementary school, she tells me that there are several kids in her class that do not concentrate well, and after some investigation, she has discovered it is because they are simply hungry most of the time. It is distressing to know that kids are going without proper nutrition in my community, as the kids are really our future teachers,Doctors,lawyers,government officials. I would like them every day in their seats primed up to learn.
Feeding America is an organization that works to help bridge the hunger gap. There are great statistics on the site that help explain what is going on with hunger in America. I was particularly struck with one statistic. 10% of the households depending on food aid are considered homeless. ONLY 10%. So when we donate to the food bank, most of the food is not going to homeless people. Many people I know are hesitant to donate to the food bank stating that it only goes to the homeless who are somehow degenerate. And no doubt, many homeless people are addicted to alcohol and or drugs.
In November, it tends to be pretty easy. So far, I have encountered food bins at Both Publix and Winn Dixie, at work, and at my gym, and in the front office of my apartment building. I imagine it’s the same anywhere across the U.S. in November.
But what to donate? I was inspired by a goal on 43things, a goal setting website (check it out, very very motivating!). This goal was “Give the Homeless food they would actually like to eat”. So many time you look at the donations in bins and see cans and cans of beans and corn only. So what’s the best stuff to donate?
Firstly…I would say if all you want to donate is corn and beans, go ahead and give them. People do need beans and corn.
But if you are sort of not sure what to give, I suggest a few things.
High protein items: peanut butter,canned tuna, canned chicken.
Kid friendly items: mac and cheese mix, spaghettios, cereals, snack packs for lunches
Sugar free items.
And if you are feeling festive: fun items like coffee.
This year I started to shop the sales early and here is what I accumulated for the food banks.
I decided a long time ago to always try to donate at least one brick of coffee. I find it very hard to start my day without coffee. I imagine though if I was trying to feed my family it would be one of the first things to go.
It’s a bit hard to see what’s all there but I pretty much hit all the buy one get one free sales so people will be getting all sorts of items from me this year.
Coffee, BBQ sauce, peaches,spaghettios, spaghetti and sauce, pie filling, mashed potato mix, Pasta Sides, baby foods, kid friendly soup, etc etc.
Though I do not usually buy bunches of canned veggies, I am still pretty cheap. I think for food banks those microwaveable cups of mac and cheese, soup, and spaghettios are greats as several children in the hunger group will come home to empty houses as their parents will be still at work. I can’t however, stand the price. So I compromise and try to make sure what I buy has lids like this.
I hope those of you who are able will consider dropping off at least one extra can of something for the local food bank. After the holidays, the hunger need will pretty much be forgotten by most of us, but the food banks will still be operating.