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Posts Tagged ‘food pantries’

Wow, that is a mouthful for the title of this blog post…but, it is what it says it is.  The National Association of Letter Carriers have committed themselves once again to their annual food drive.   They do this to help combat hunger.  In the last two years in the United States, more than 50 million people have found themselves living in homes that don’t have enough food.  This is outrageous, we can all do something to help.  No one should go hungry in a country that supplies other nations with food from our surplus produce that farmers work so hard to grow.

You may say, I am only one person…what can i do?  You can support the National Association of Letter Carriers help stamp out hunger by leaving a bag at your mail box, on Saturday May 14, 2011, with non-perishable food items.  That is only 2 days from now.   Make sure that the items you are donating are not out of date or in danger of expiring any time soon.   Don’t have a lot to give; give what you can.  If you are blessed enough to have the means to give…give generously; we all have a responsibility to share our blessings with others.

Support businesses and organizations that sponsor the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.  This is an amazing grass roots program that blesses your local food banks.  All the food collected by your local mail carrier stays in your local area.  The people you help may be your own friends, family or neighbors. With the economy being so challenging in recent years more people are affected by not having enough to eat.  The numbers of children in homes without enough food is rising.  The elderly are having a harder time making ends meet.  Young wage earners are finding themselves without steady income to support their families sufficiently.   Natural disasters have hurt many families and those people still need to eat.  Churches can’t do it all…they need our help to provide food for those who are struggling with hunger!  Won’t you help?

Would you like to learn more?  Visit their website here:  Stamp Out Hunger and if you happen to have a Facebook account or a Twitter account…then Like them or Follow them to lend your support.  Spread the work online and off.  Tell others about the food drive…encourage others to donate.

Remember to thank your mail carrier.  They are dedicated to helping people stamp out hunger in your community.   Do you know someone who has had to use food from a food pantry or food bank?  Tell them about my friend Connie who heads up a website that teaches people how to eat healthier with the food that they bring into their homes through SNAP, food pantries, commodities, and farmer’s markets.  She does this in a way to help people stretch their budgets and to encourage the people who visit her website to form a community to share tips and ideas with one another.  Her site isn’t just for food stamp users…but for anyone on a tight budget who wants and needs to eat well.  Food Stamp Cooking Club

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I had the honor today of interviewing Connie Baum the inspiration behind the website Food
Stamps Cooking Club
about why her website is growing in numbers and with such a sense of community.  The site was created to teach people how to stretch their food dollars to purchase foods that are filling and nutritious.  To hear the interview click here:  Write Where You Are

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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