This is the time of the year that we hear so much about feeding the hungry. Folks are hungry all year. We need to be more aware all months - but especially in the winter. Food keeps our bodies working properly, and when we are cold and shivering, we are using energy - thus we need to eat properly.
Food, water and air - the three things we all need to survive.
I have been noticing many stories lately about ways people are helping, and it warms my heart.
PACK THE PANTRIES - is an event that happens every so often in our area. Many of the local TV stations have food gathering events and many other organizations do as well.
Many holiday events (that charge for admission) have been donating a percentage of each entry price to Gleaner's. There are so many in need, and these organizations help so much.
South of us, in another county, there is the GOOD CHEER FUND. This was started by a child and has spread over the years. They now fill and donate over 800 bushel baskets of food to give to those in need. Those will be passed out this Saturday and on Christmas Eve.
Aunt Millie's bread has just donated over 2,000 loaves of fresh bread to pantries in the state. Most pantries here, only get bread that has been frozen, so fresh is quite a luxury.
Some area school teachers have asked for NO gifts to be given by the children (to the teacher). They want the kids to bring in non-perishables to give to the pantries. WIN-WIN-WIN. Teachers don't get things they don't need and they are teaching the children a great lesson in helping and people are getting food! I love this idea and think more teachers should do this.
Many of our area schools do have food drives, which I think is wonderful.
We have many areas here in my city (which is amazing to me) that are considered 'food deserts'. That means there is no real grocery store within a reasonable distance to homes. There are thrifty marts and corner stores that sell junk food, but no good groceries. These areas are generally lower income neighborhoods, and stores have all moved from the area. It seems like IF just one store came in the area - it would do great. People need to be able to buy food, so why would stores leave?
Buses are costly, and many people have no other option than to buy the junk food or take an expensive bus to another area.
Now there is a program by Lyft (kind of like Uber), and for a $2 fee - people will have the option to ride to one of 6 different grocery stores. That fee covers both ways. I have heard stories that some drivers have provided the service for free - just to help out.
I love that the people in these areas now have an option.
Last year the organic grocery store up the road from us, went out of business. Hubs and I were original investors in that, as the area was a food desert, and this place was providing healthy options. Well, it kind of lost it's vision - and became the 'preppy' store for all the new age health nuts and got very expensive. Again, the people in the neighborhood couldn't afford it.
The store remained closed for about a year. Just recently a farmer from a northern county - opened it back up and is selling excess farm produce and great markdown deals for very little money.
He is donating a great amount of fresh produce from his farm. He said that he feels it his duty to help! He has gotten lots of other items donated and is getting many deals from manufacturers. The people in the area finally have a place they can afford and can get REAL food!!!
Praise the Lord.
Don't forget others. I know we are all wound up in holiday events and activities - but so many don't have the means for even a warm meal. We have many soup kitchens and missions around, and lots of churches serve at the holidays - BUT people are hungry every day!
Just my little reminder to you - IF it all possible, think about spending just a little extra each month to donate goods to your area food pantry. $5 or $10 can provide a lots of basics.
IF EACH AND EVERY ONE of us did this - what a difference it would make.
Blessings to you all!