Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Feed the Hungry in Your Own Backyard

Carlson Meats, in Grove City, does the processing work
for my wife's farm. They recently celebrated 100 years of
business in their community. We admire the Carlsons a
great deal. I took this little photograph last week at their
big anniversary party. 

You probably have a food shelf in your community. If you do, I hope you know where it is and what it’s doing to feed the hungry; and, I hope you’re involved and helpful.
by Charlie Leck

I don’t do actual work anymore in the local food-shelf, but I still stop by occasionally and I am always saddened to see the number of people who need to use the service. I’m thinking about this because I had a wonderful dinner last night – splendid and perfect in every way.
“Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.”
[Proverbs 22:9 ]
This morning, I was going through our pantry shelves and found so many, many things we’ve stored there that will probably never get used. I began to pack these things up, to take over to the food shelf on Thursday. When I see volumes of food like this it makes me wonder and think about the hungry. How can I have so much? How can I not share what I have?

We must never allow our neighbors to go hungry. It’s a rule I have. I worry about the world’s hungry also, but, at the very least, here at home I can do something. Here are some rules I have about local hunger…

Know where your local food shelf is! There’s a good chance it’s in a church – or maybe a community center. Wherever, know where it is. If you don’t, check it out (make a real effort to find out).

Visit the food shelf
and talk to some of the volunteers about how you might help. Ask about the kinds of foods they most need. Find out how and when you can drop off donations of food.

Find out what your local grocer is doing about local hunger!
One of my local food stores (Coburns) has a hunger bag program. I buy a hunger bag every time I shop there. I pay $6 for the bag that contains more than $10 worth of groceries. There’s a spot in the store to drop off the bag. The local food shelf comes around and picks up the bags. Wholefoods is famous for its community support program. The one where I shop has good connections and relations with the local food shelf.

Check your pantry or food closet regularly for items you are not consuming.
Make sure you do this at least quarterly. Clean it out and take appropriate items over to your local food shelf. Donate them and, while you’re at it, pull out a few of those cobweb covered dollar bills from your wallet and donate those, too.

Find out if your local food shelf needs more help!
If it does, help it find volunteers to staff its services. Volunteer yourself if you’re able. Chat with neighbors about people they might know who could help.

Encourage your church or place of worship to be active in feeding the hungry!
If you go to church or to any kind of place of worship, try to get your fellow worshippers to get involved in feeding the hungry. Have a place where food can be gathered and then transported to the local food shelf. A lot of churches have food shelves right within their building. Make sure they have plenty of volunteers. Get involved yourself or recruit volunteers to work there.

Find out about the extent of hunger in your own community!
How much hunger is there in your town? I am amazed to see how many people here are struggling. It just shouldn’t happen in a remarkable nation like our own.

Don’t moralize!
Don’t get your head spinning trying to figure out all the reasons for hunger. And don’t moralize about it. You can’t worry about why that mother spent two dollars on a Powerball lottery ticket instead of on food. Wasting money is not very common among those who are hungry. Remember your own little and big addictions and foibles and don’t think about those of other people. Just don’t allow people to be hungry. There are all kinds of pulls and tugs in this world that work on the minds of all people. Get past that! Instead, get involved in making sure families are not hungry.

Well, those are my simple little rules. I try to follow them myself. Be generous and give to your local food shelf as generously as you can.

Why not become a follower?
If you read my blog regularly, why not become a follower? All you have to do is click in the upper right hand corner and establish a simple means of communication. Then you'll be informed every time a new blog is posted here. If all that's confusing, here's Google's explanation of how to do it! If you don’t want to post comments on the blog, but would like to communicate with me about it, send me an email if you’d like.

No comments:

Post a Comment