Food Banks and the Holiday Season

Food Banks and the Holidays

Hunger - definition : The discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food.

Have you ever been hungry, really hungry? That gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach, feeling weak and not being able to concentrate are just a few symptoms from being hungry. It is a shame that many people have these symptoms every day because they have very little or no food to eat. Donating to food banks in your city is one way to help out the less fortunate who are in desperate need of help.

The food bank or pantry in the city where I live accepts food and monetary donations year round. In the last few years with more and more people losing their jobs plus families with low incomes, the need for donations has become even greater.

These are trying times for many people. With the economy the way it is, even people who are employed are having a hard time keeping food on the table.

Folks who never thought they would ever have to resort to a food bank are swallowing their pride and doing what they have to do to feed their families.

In trying to keep the shelves replenished and well stocked, the food bank holds several food drives throughout the year in hopes of being able to keep up with the increasing demands of people in need.

The food bank helps thousands of families every month and I can't imagine how bad it would for them if they didn't have that resource available.

The need for food donations is an absolute must during the holiday season. No one wants to see a family go without food then or at any other time.

Other places that conduct food drives during the year are churches, schools and some businesses especially during the holidays.

I started giving to the food bank years ago through the company I worked for. It was always around the holidays when the need to replenish the diminishing supplies at the food bank was at its peak. I was very fortunate back then to work for a company that gave everyone a two week paid holiday bonus which was much appreciated. All of us employees would bring as many canned food items as possible for donation or donate money. It was the least we could do. Some of us volunteered at the food bank center in helping sort and shelve the food for easy distribution.

That experience really opened my eyes as to just how bad things have gotten for many families and that it could happen to anyone including myself. I had never really paid much attention to the desperate need for food in our community.

After I left that job, I still continued to donate what I could a couple times a year. When my two grandsons were old enough they would help me take the canned goods to the drop off location for donations. (The drop off location only accepted canned items, boxed items would have been crushed and ruined) I explained the food bank process to my grandsons and how anyone can do something to help out, even if it was only one can of food or a box full.

Once the boys became teenagers, I had them go shopping with me to pick out the food we would be donating. I made it a point that they had to save some of their allowance and pay for the food themselves. As I watched them pick out what they thought people might need, I was hoping they would continue to donate to others in one way or another throughout their adult lives. After they picked out all kinds of canned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter, jelly, condiments and items that would go along with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, we would take everything to a drop off location.

Starting now and until the end of the year the food bank will be in full swing trying to get as many donations as possible. With the monetary donations, turkeys and other perishable items will be purchased. The food bank hopes to have enough supplies to give out so that everyone that needs help will be able to fix a holiday dinner for their family.

Help if you can

It is sad to think of children and adults that go to bed hungry every night. This should happen to no one but unfortunately it does.

Hopefully during the upcoming holiday season more people will help out where and how they are able to. Every little bit helps even if you can only donate one can of food, it will be appreciated.

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