I wrote up a three-part gift guide to share with you all. It included fun kitchen gadgets, inspiring cookbooks, and delectable local treats. I love every single thing I wrote about. But I couldn’t share those posts with you.
The more I thought about it, the stranger it felt – telling people to go buy more stuff, even useful stuff, seemed out of place. I don’t begrudge anyone who makes such a post during the holiday season, but for me it just wasn’t right.
Instead of taking this space to promote the latest Dutch oven color or remind you that a stand mixer is the single most important purchase in your cooking life, I’m going remind everyone to step back and take a moment and remember that we are all so amazingly lucky to be able to spend our Decembers worrying about what cookies we’re going to make for the office swap or how many more themed blog posts we can fit in before Christmas.
17% of Americans are now classified as “food insecure”. This translates to approximately 50 million people who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. Even though I live in Austin, Texas, the place that is head and shoulders above all other cities in annual spending on food (about $12,000 per year), there are almost 50,000 people who depend on the local food bank to provide food. And nearly half that number is composed of children.
Did you know that a $25 donation to your local food bank translates into $125 of food for families in need?
Yes, you work hard for your money. You do not need to justify to me your stocked wine cellar or weekly tasting dinners. But maybe you could help someone not have to resort to the dollar menu for their one “nutritious” meal of the day. It’s hard enough to accept that bag of food from the food pantry; harder still if the funds aren’t available to provide the most nutritious food possible.
My family and I are very privileged, for all the “problems” we have. We have a warm comfortable home, lots of the latest tech gadgets, and freezers, fridge, and pantry stacked high with food. Not being able to feed my child scares me, and so we always have more than we need on hand. The weight of childhood memories shopping at the thrift bakery, and having to abandon a cartload of food at the grocery store has only started to press on me now that I am a parent, and understand. If something were to happen to us and we should need the food bank, I can only hope that there are people continuing to help. Right now, there is someone out there hoping people continue to help tomorrow, and the day after.
If you need to find your local food bank, check out the search function at Feeding America.
For another resource, visit Share our Strength.
It may not seem like you can make a difference as a single person, but each little droplet of hope can turn into a rainstorm.