I've been noticing there are a lot of food drives going on lately. I suspect this is for obvious reasons. The three YMCAs I visited this week have one at each location, as do various spots around town. I've been giving a little here and there as I remember out of the things that are lurking in my pantry. However, I think it is time to take some more proactive steps.
I'm traumatized by the very thought of not being able to feed my family and how quickly people are moving from very well off to needing food support. I often have trouble picking among charities, but this seems a very basic place to start with the one of the essentials of life. Stories like this in our local (abysmal) newspaper make the statistics all the more real as does the sheer numbers of people I know that have been laid off in the last year. Luckily most of them have awesome family/friends support networks, but what if they didn't?
I know many people want to and can help, but with kids, activities and too many logistics it can be complicated. Tomorrow bright and early the postal service is making it easy for you with the
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Check to make sure your community is participating then put out your items to be donated by 7am and your postal carrier will pick them up and donate them to the local food bank they are supporting.(See here for more). I've done this in years past and it worked well. Today, I braved a big trip to the store with B to actually buy some of the most needed items for my area (as well as things we needed) and will set my stash out curbside before I head to bed this evening. I know I'm doing a little thing and that there is such a big need, but I still believe that if we all do just a little the impact can be tremendous.
I know I'm posting this late for many of you. If you miss this particular drive, I encourage you to look around you for similar ones. For instance, most if not all the OKC metro YMCAs are doing drives for the food banks in their communities through May 15. You don't have to be a member, just walk in and drop off your contribution. Alternatively, food banks are encouraging cash donations as often they can stretch your cash contribution much further than you can in buying the needed goods. Finally, consider things other than food as basic toiletries are often greatly needed as well.
Take a moment, think about your community and what you can do to help whether it is this mission or something else. We need each other and together are so much stronger. I hope and pray I never need such assistance, but want to know that should I ever I've been able to help others when I was able. Sending you thanks, smiles, hugs and happy thoughts this special weekend.