OK, moment of transparency here. I am awful at food drives. Just hearing the phrase “food drive” makes me feel tired and guilty. Tired because now I have one more thing to remember to bring somewhere. Guilty because I’m probably going to forget.
It’s just the truth.
Yesterday, when I sifted through the mail, I found a tiny post card that said “Fill a bag.” That’s as far as I got when I realized it wasn’t a bill and it wasn’t a check. So it was going in the trash.
I reached my house and dropped the small heap on my table. After putting the kids down for naps, I sat down and looked through the mail again. When I reached the post card, I stopped. A voice in my head, who can be quite snarky at times, very rationally said, “Laura, you need to read stuff like this more often.”
So I read through the post card completely:
“Stamp Out Hunger…Food drive…May 9th…goes to local foods banks…place by mailbox for letter carrier to deliver…wait…what?”
I had to read that last line again.
You throw a bunch of food in a paper bag and set it by your mailbox. On May 9th, THEY take the food to the food banks. You go back inside and resume watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns as you clutch a box of tissues.
I didn’t actually watch much Grey’s Anatomy, and you may not either. But we both know what happened. And it was sad.
My fellow, previously-guilt-ridden brethren. I totally get why it’s hard to remember to give. But if you have ever felt that twist in your gut as you walk by a blue barrel, or heard about a food delivery event, but didn’t sign up, this is your moment of redemption.
There are no politics here. It’s not a discussion of what percentage goes to the employees and what is actually used to help people in need.
It’s just food. And they’re just taking it to the food bank.
49 million people are facing hunger in America. 1 out of 5 US children.
So to keep myself accountable to you and to a hungry world that’s waiting – here are my ridiculously simple action steps:
- I’m going to put May 9th on my calendar.
- I’m going to stuff a bag with food and leave it by my front door.
- I’m going to march my carcass out the front door on May 9th.
- I’m going to place a bag of non-perishable food items under my mailbox.
- I’m not going to yell at myself for failing to do this sooner.
Will you join me?
Last week, we had our first “Grocery Strike” (read more on that here) and yesterday we still managed to fill a bag of food. You already know I’m lousy at this in general. If I can do it, so can you.
For more information about “Stamp Out Hunger”, visit their website here.
[Tweet “@StampOutHunger with me on May 9th.”]
Don’t get too distracted from this post, however. I challenge you to grab a bag and set it on the counter right now. You will remember that you felt inspired to help people when you read this. You’ll like the way you feel when you actually follow through with that plan.
For more tips on how to be generous on a small budget, check out my post-that-doesn’t-reference-depressing-moments-in-tv-shows here.
Join the conversation: Have you ever spent time in your local food bank? What was that experience like?