Local Food Pantries Need Our Help!
The holiday season is a wonderful time for reflection, appreciation, and giving. Getting away from our regular routines and opening our homes to family and friends is beautiful. It allows us to live in the “now” and truly be present for one another. It is also a time to hug our loved ones a little tighter and cherish the memories of those no longer with us at the dinner table. This holiday will be especially hard for the Kelly’s as we lost our beloved sister-in-law after a valiant 14-year fight against breast cancer. Because she loved cooking and feeding all of us, I thought it would be fitting to honor her memory and talk about ways we can help feed the local community with an idea that could replenish the food banks.
Hold an Annual Kitchen Take Down!
November is a great month to hold your own personal food drive and maybe start a new holiday tradition by conducting an annual kitchen “take down.” The idea is to purge all your canned goods and non-perishable items regardless of how old they are, and then restock your shelves. If you do this every year, you will always have fresh inventory and avoid the inevitable waste that happens when you keep things past their expiration dates. Local people will have food in time for the holidays, and the food pantries will get a huge influx once a year. It’s good for your home and good for someone else’s.
In addition, it is a great way to say “from our kitchen to yours.” I have to confess: some years I feel I am not donating enough, so I buy an extra bag or two of groceries. Tuna fish and peanut butter are particularly hard for the pantries to keep in stock.
Find a Drop-Off Location!
Wherever you live in the US, search for the listings and drop off locations of your local food banks. If you are here on Long Island, visit licares.org and islandharvest.org for drop off locations. Helping Hands Rescue Mission in Huntington, NY (Suffolk county) has been helping the community for 53 years and is always in need of volunteers and donations. Yougivegoods.com is another convenient option. It’s an online drive that allows you to purchase food to be shipped directly to a food drive of your choice.
We all have pantries in our local communities that can really use our help. Let’s make it a season of giving.
Happy Thanks”GIVING” Everyone!
The kitchen with the prairie green island can be seen here.