#madm linkup: Food Pantries

MADM-Circle-FinalIt’s time for another Make a Difference Monday Linkup!

Today I want to talk a little bit about canned goods – and how I just have too many of them in my house.

Honestly, if you looked in my pantry, you’d be shocked at what you saw. I don’t consider myself a hoarder, but Tim and I won’t run out of food any time soon. I have cans of soup, cans of fruit, cans of tuna, cans of  veggies…there are boxes of pre-made food and bags of side dishes. There is candy and sweets. There is uncooked pasta and ready-to-use marinades. There is a lot of stuff in that pantry. Some of it will probably go bad before we even get around to eating it.

And then I look at the food pantries around the county. They are always in need of food. They need basic staples to give so that other people can simply eat. They subsist on the kindness of people who have plenty to fill their shelves. They gladly take the day-old bread from Panera so that they can give it to people who have nothing. They work hard and barely have enough to give to the huge need. I even heard that a local pantry is closing their doors this month. It’s so hard to imagine so much need.

So, here’s what you can do.

  • Every time you go to the store, pick up a few extra items. Shop carefully and choose what is on sale if you’re on a tight budget. Because every single can counts
  • Find food drives to participate in locally. If you can’t get to a local food bank (or your community doesn’t have one), grocery stores and the like usually have ways you can still help
  • Donate regularly. I’m sure it eases a lot of people’s minds to know they can count on you, even if it’s just for a few things.
  • Pay attention to your local organization needs.

That last one is important. For example, every year my church collects cans of yams and cranberries in October to go in the Thanksgiving baskets supplied by our local mission. As a church we commit to 1,000 cans of each. We’re a large church, so it shouldn’t take long to get that many, but we always struggle. Why? Because we don’t make it as big of a deal as it really is (that’s hopefully changing this year). If you’re reading this and local, here is some info about the yam & cran drive.

As the holiday time gets closer, I grow more and more aware of just how much I have and just how much others need. Little ways to give make a big difference.