Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stocking The Shelves

from the overcooked noodle of Burbanmom...

SPOILER ALERT: I'm not going to talk about the election. I know - an environmental blog one day before the big vote? Politics MUST be the topic du jour. But it's not. Not me, not today.

Oh, I've been pretty vocal among friends and families, but let's be honest here. As much as I'd like to try to convince you to Ba-Rock The Vote tomorrow - I'm pretty sure you've already got your mind made up. Besides, the thought of someone - anyone - selecting a presidential candidate based solely on my endorsement? Yikes. That scares me more than the thought of Queen Palin shootin' squirrels in the Rose Garden while Grandpa McCain wanders aimlessly from the Green Room to the Oval Office trying to remember where he put those nuclear codes.

No, although I am anxiously awaiting tomorrow's outcome as much as the next guy, today I'm talking about giving back. Let's face it - it's been a pretty crappy year for a lot of folks in America. And odds are, it's gonna get worse before it gets better. Food pantries across the country are hurting. People - all sorts of people - do not have enough to eat. The very young and the elderly, the working poor, single mothers, and many, many other Americans are going hungry. The shelves are bare and the lines are long. So here's a chance for ALL of us to don our capes and wonderbras (or wonder-codpieces) and be a hero.

Please, take a moment today to locate your local food bank and make a donation. You can donate money, food, time or all of the above. Please do it now. The nuttiness of Halloween is over and the Thanksgiving madness is not yet in full swing. You have the time. You have the resources. Please. You can make a huge difference to someone who is struggling to make ends meet. You can help a mother feed her child. You can allow an elderly person to not have to choose between food or medicine. You can help someone eat.

I don't care if it's organic. I don't care if it's local. I don't care if it's fair trade. I just care that it's food. And that you make the time to give it to someone in need. Please. This week. Give.

What's this got to do with the environment? Not much, I guess. But giving to your fellow man... building a sense of community... helping those in need... they're all worthy causes, aren't they? And if you really want to do something for the environment this week, you can do it at the polls.

So be sure to get out and vote on Tuesday. If nothing else, it'll give you a good feeling and a free coffee from Starbucks. And hell, maybe you could take the money you save on the fancy coffee and donate it to the food bank.

17 comments:

JessTrev said...

Hear, hear. My kid's school is doing a collection this week. We will be doubly sure to throw in some Goldfish in honor of the baby seals you'd club in order to keep them in the hands of your chil'ren. ;) Seriously, great post and perfect timing of the reminder -- people need food all the time, not just right at the big winter holidays.

Heather @ SGF said...

Starbucks isn't the only freebie. Ben and Jerry's is giving out free scoops from 5-8 Tues. Yum!

http://www.benjerry.com/features/i_voted/

Green Heart said...

Done. Thanks for the reminder.

Domestic Accident said...

Excellent reminder. Last year, our town food pantry had 3 families whom they assisted. This year, they have over 40. You just can't give enough.

greeen sheeep said...

If you can't find your local food bank, don't have the time, blah blah blah, many grocery stores have collections. You just add a bag to your shopping trip and they take care of the rest.

A lot of churches and schools collect non-perishables, too. Ask your kids.

organicneedle said...

Thanks for the reminder. There is a collection basket at our CSA pickup.(Our CSA donates some shares to a local charity kitchen.) I will be sure to bring a few extra items!

Jessica said...

Excellent reminder! The food bank that my church is currently working with has specifically requested high protein items and pop-top cans, as there is a relatively large homeless population that they are helping, and there is a very good chance that a homeless person won't have a can opener.

Clothes, especially winter clothes, and blankets are another excellent thing to donate as you go through your closets to find your own cool weather clothing.

ruchi aka arduous said...

Thanks for the reminder that food pantries need food year round, not just at Christmas.

Green Resolutions said...

Have you guys seen this:
http://www.stopthehunger.com/

Especially sobering, the amount spent on food that is thrown out daily vs. the amount needed to feed the hungry daily.

Meals on Wheels is also a great place to donate. The program is hurting nationwide because of high gas prices over the summer.

Green Bean said...

Very important reminder, Burbs. Thanks for that and the amusing look into a scary and hopefully impossible future.

Green Bean said...

I just want to add that you might do a Google search on food banks in your state. Burbs, on your list, I turned up one food bank 30 miles away. I remembered someone at Slow Food Nation saying that the City of SF has 10 food banks so I figured there must be more. I did a google search and came up with a Food Bank in my own tiny town. Thanks!

fullfreezer said...

Excellent post. Thank you. We participated in a 'bread drive' yesterday at our church. I know people need so much more than bread but it was heartening to see a table piled high with bread that was divided between the local food bank, the free lunch program and the homeless shelter.

CindyW said...

A couple of years ago, I heard on a radio program that food banks often did not have issues during the holidays because people tended to ride the spirit of giving.

However they were often short on supply during the rest of the year.

Thanks for the reminder.

Melinda said...

I think environmentally conscious actions are completely intertwined with socially conscious actions. The whole point of environmental action is to avoid needless suffering in the future, right? So if we can do that now as well, it's important.

If someone can't afford to give money to the food bank, there are ways to give time instead. Volunteer at the food bank, at a local soup kitchen, or at a community garden that grows food for your local food bank. And if there isn't a food bank garden in your neighborhood, hmmm... what a great project!!

Robj98168 said...

Boeing does a collection every year- be interesting to see if they do it because it is usually done when we were on strike. I never mess with boeing's drive- I prefer to do my own donations thank you very much. I cant stand how boeing does a charity dirve, the employees all donate and the executives get on the press and says how good they are!

Going Crunchy said...

Check your local library too. Mine offers food-for-fines this month. You get a buck off your fines for every unit of food that you donate to the pantry. We've collected box after box so far.

As one that volunteers in a shelter too, I'd have to say to try to get things that are healthy as well. We've tried to renovate our recipes to provide for better nutrition.

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