My work for the last 23 years has been in the field of philanthropy -- or, etymologically, "the caring of man." Essentially, philanthropy involves caring for, nourishing, improving and enhancing the quality of life for human beings.
Yeah. I'm a professional bleeding heart . . .
Anyway, there are several issues that are particularly close to my (bleeding) heart: women's issues, literacy, expanding access to the arts, conservation, hunger and food insecurity.
In November, as it gets closer to Thanksgiving (here in the US), we start thinking a little more about bounty . . . and plenty . . . and food. We acknowledge what we have . . . and we share the excess. Food drives for local food pantries seem to be everywhere this time of year.
Tom's place of work had one earlier this month, with prizes going to the floor bringing in the most food (based on weight).
The cost of admission to my Fall Master Gardener conference last Saturday was a donation to the local food bank.
And this weekend, the Clark family sponsored their 5th annual food drive in my neighborhood.
Opportunity is everywhere! I hope you'll look for ways to donate food to your local food bank or pantry not just in November, but throughout the year. (Because food insecurity is not seasonal!)
As you can probably tell, I'm very enthused about Carole's Ten on Tuesday topic this week: 10 Items Your Local Food Pantry Can Use.
- Essential, nutritious foods that families like to eat - breakfast cereals, applesauce, fruit juice (preferably in cans), dried fruit
- Non-perishable food items - rice, canned vegetables and fruits, canned potatoes, dry lentils and beans
- Protein-rich options - canned meat (chicken, SPAM), pasta sauce WITH meat, beef stew, corned beef hash, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter
- Whole grains - oatmeal, granola, pasta, rice, couscous
- Hearty foods - canned soups, canned ravioli, canned chili WITH meat
- Fresh vegetables (from your garden or the market) -- check with your food pantry to make certain they'll accept fresh vegetables (ours does!) and to make delivery arrangements
- Pet food - basic cat and dog food
- Baking staples - flour, sugar, raisins, vegetable oil, chocolate chips
- Condiments - salt and pepper, basic spices, ketchup, mustard
- Non-food items related - dishwashing detergent, sponges, paper towels, toothpaste, hand soap, lotion
(And. . . just remember. . . no rusted cans, glass jars, or food past its expiration date. Think twice before you pull stuff out from the depths of your own pantry. If you don't want it, chances are the food bank won't want it either!)
This fall, share your bounty with your local food pantry!