|Three Challenges Facing Food Banks|
This isn’t a post about recipes, though it is about food. According to Feeding America, 10% of U.S households are food insecure.
Feeding America is a national organization helping food banks across the U.S through food programs and food rescue.
My local food bank regularly relies on Feeding America for many items. Hundreds of local food banks fill a large and growing need in communities throughout our country. My university also has a food pantry for students, staff, and faculty. Much of the produce comes from our university farm.
I was able to volunteer at a local food bank for years and greatly look forward to returning when I retire this year. The food bank provides
pantry staples, a small amount of pet food, and a few hygiene items to needy individuals and families weekly. It’s more than just food--it’s also a resource for community services such as health care, laundry and shower facilities, and housing.
In addition to being a regular food bank donor and soon a volunteer, I’m happy to participate in a local little pantry that provides so much. The neighborhood pantry fills a need not only for unsheltered adults, but also local school children. Yes, it is sometimes abused and a few neighbors will complain, but most patrons are respectful and grateful.
Students from the nearby high school did an excellent video on the nearby pantry. Many of them benefit from the pantry and help maintain it. In the video, one grade school girl said the peanut butter and crackers she can pick up after school help fill her tummy on the hour drive home with her mother. She often gets extra packs of crackers for her younger brother and her mother.
The experience of volunteering at the food bank and seeing the plight of so many has woven itself into the book I am currently writing. I’m a romance writer, and what better place for generous hearts to meet than at a food bank during the holidays?
Until I can resume volunteering, I can at least live it through the book I’m working on.*
* All proceeds from my first book go to a local organization that provides free pet care for low-income families or the unsheltered. Proceeds from the next book will go to my local food bank.