Friday, December 23, 2011

Twenty Five Treats for the Holidays - Day 23

Today's treat is a treat to give away.

Today is probably the next-busiest, craziest Friday of the year after Black Friday!  And, I'm sorry to pile one more errand or "to-do list" item on.

Today's treat is to clean out your pantry.  Find canned goods and shelf stable items that are still within their expiration date, and take them to your local food pantry.  Don't have anything extra?  On your way home from work or while you are finishing up those last Christmas errands, pick up a few cans of soup.  Or green beans.  Or Spaghettios.  Every little bit helps.

This summer, when I literally built a community garden from the ground up, our gardeners participated in Plant a Row for the Hungry - a program where gardeners can donate their surplus produce to local food pantries and similar organizations.  When I was working with the food pantry director to coordinate deliveries, I was astonished to learn that 1 in 6 families in my county face hunger issues.  "And we are lucky" she said.  In some places, it's 1 in 3.

To put it in "real terms", when I had some cub scouts out helping one day, I asked them how many kids were in their classes.  Fortunately for me, the highly math-challenged, one of them had 24 kids.  I explained to the boys that meant that 4 kids in that class might go to be hungry every night, or not know when their next meal would be.  One of the moms started to cry "I never realized it was that bad".  It is.  It really is.

So let today's treat be a gift to those less fortunate.  Whatever you can spare.  Every little bit helps.  And tonight, when you say grace over dinner, be grateful you have dinner.  And please, dear Lord, help those who don't.  Amen.

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