Thanksgiving is a few days away and you will probably be swimming in food. To relieve some of the guilt of excess, I suggest donating to your local food bank.
I am not suggesting that you should feel guilty, by the way. But, if you do feel pangs of guilt, donating to a food bank is a good way to feel better.
Yes, dear readers, I know it is the time of year that you get hit with a ton of non-profits wanting a donation. Over the weekend, I got a call from Doctors Without Borders because I gave in September after I read about Ebola (and they wanted more of course).
I write about food every day and to think that there are people who go hungry on my block makes me want to do something. Why do people need food assistance?
Many people seek emergency food to get them through a short-term crisis: a layoff, a critical illness, or loss of home due to fire. Others are unemployed and hungry with no way to buy food.
An increasing number are seeking food to fill in gaps their paychecks aren’t covering. With 25% percent of U.S. workers making $8 an hour or less, many families are living from week to week, just on the edge of emergency. As the job market has shifted from a steady manufacturing base to service jobs, the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union reports that the median household income in Massachusetts has fallen 10% since 1989.
Our wages have decreased, while the price of food, gas, electricity, housing, childcare, and healthcare has increased. Food banks help people bridge the gap when they are running short.
What does your food bank need?
1. Your donation in the form of money. They can buy wholesale and will leverage your cash much better than you can.
2. Healthy complete meals such as these:
Peanut butter and jelly
Rice and canned or dry beans
Spaghetti and canned spaghetti sauce
Canned or boxed pasta/rice meals and canned vegetables
Canned or instant soups/stews and rice
Dry oatmeal and canned fruit
3. Other essentials such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and toilet paper.
What would they rather not have?
1. Expired food (they have to toss it out).
2. Food packed in glass (can break).
3. Weird food that nobody wants like marmite or jalapeno jelly.
I mean you might like marmite and jalapeño jelly but you are probably in the minority. I am now ready to get flamed.
Check out Feeding America to find your local food bank.
What charities do you give to this time of year?
Photo Credit: "Non-perishable food items collected during a holiday food drive” Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons