In the town where I grew up, 4 years ago there were 50 individuals or families needing services of the local food pantry. The boxes they filled gave the people (depending on the size of the family) around 8 meals for the month. Eventually, the other food pantries in the county closed. The hometown food pantry became the County food pantry, and as time has gone by, it’s gotten worse and worse. This month, they expect to serve 340 individuals or families.
This is the problem though! If you give one can of beef stew to them, they have to collect or buy 339 more cans of beef stew from the state food bank before they can distribute your one can. I’m not sure that all pantries are the same.
Check with someone via phone or email before you make your donation. $10 worth of your groceries might be 10 cans, but they might be able to buy 50 or 100 at the state food bank, so CHECK WITH THEM before you open your wallet this year. Ask them to be honest with you -they are going to say that no donation is turned away. This is true, but money might be better for them (like it is for the county food pantry where I grew up) than a few cans of beef stew.
Think about what I said though. Some of these people are disabled and can’t work, they get a check from the state which likely covers maybe their bills and medication buy not likely a lot of food, and then standing in line for the food pantry nets them 8 meals. Please! Call or check on your local food pantry (check with your church or a church in your neighborhood to see who to contact, they WILL know) and see what they really need this time of year.
Everyone dontates at Thanksgiving, but I challenge you to donate year round, or find out when they need more donations (ask) or if they get a match at any point in time. At our home county pantry, donations in March and April are matched by a benefactor’s estate (they applied for a nationwide grant) so we donate during that time period too so if you give $10 (possibly 100 cans), they get a $10 match (another 100 cans), so PLEASE! Donate to your food pantry, make a quick phone call or email and ask them what they NEED. They will tell you the truth (dont listen to anything is taken) – dig deeper and find out what they NEED. Forgo Starbucks this week and give an extra can of vegetables or can of tuna or box of macaroni to a family in need this month.