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Posts Tagged ‘groceries’

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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        I read that the host of a tabloid television show, The Insider, is leaving the show.  Pat O’brien has been on The Insider since 2004 he was the host until he had a couple of stints in rehab for addictions.  He made tabloid news himself when he left recorded messages sexually harrassing a female person on the phone.  Before he was the host of the Insider, he was on Access Hollywood for something like seven years.  Some people watch those shows regularily.

         So, he is leaving the show now.  It has been said that the decision to leave is a mutual one.  Yet, no real reason has been disclosed for the leave taking.  However, there has been speculation from; he slipped in his sobriety again, to, he is leaving because of an email that he sent to the staff at The Insider.  The email supposedly alledges that the staff of The Insider is out of touch with their real life viewers; who are struggling with day -to- day financial survival, and are not interested in the elite Hollywood fashions and over-indulgences of the stars. 

           If it is true that he was let go from the show for holding that opinion…i would tend to agree that the powers that be, are indeed out of touch.  However, I am sure that Mr. O’brien could have gotten that message across in a much more effective way than sending an email.  It is a valid point to say that mainstream America is struggling to maintain some semblance of financial stability…hearing about celebrities who toss away untold amounts of money on non-essentials is a bit of rubbing it (their wealth) in the viewer’s faces. 

           In general, i think the viewers would much rather hear about celebrities who are doing “good” in the world, with some of their “excess money”, than to hear about the latest mansion they bought or, how much money they spent on their last shopping spree!  In that, i agree in the theory behind the alleged email.

           I think that there will be a backlash in the sports world, the celebrity arena, the political figures, and other areas of our culture that continues to endorse reckless handling of money.    Reality for most people is not financial wealth; after the collapse of our banking systems, the mortgage crisis, the credit card crunch; and, the constant raising of prices of gasoline, home heating prices, and necessities such as groceries.  The American public is fighting to regain a financially secure life.  The impact of that is going to carry over into all areas of life including entertainment shows!

           If Mr. O’brien has had a change of heart over the types of stories that he felt his show should cover…he has to acknowledge that he also contributed to the environment of that show, for quite a period of time.  That however, doesn’t mean that a person can’t change their actions and raise awareness.  Good luck to everyone involved.  Let’s get real in our expectations and our actions…stop living in a fantasy world that very few people experience.  If the television executives cant do that…then, let those select few be their audience! 

           The Insider is supposed to be about the entertainment world…and it isn’t entertaining to their viewers to watch those who have been blessed financially live in ways that are wasteful when they are struggling to live above the poverty level.

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