Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008: Focus on Poverty

These are tough economic times. People with decent jobs are losing them. People with good skills can't get work. The face of poverty is our neighbor's. Sometimes it's in the mirror, or worse, the faces of our children.

There's no more helpless, frustrating or demoralizing feeling than being unable to provide basic needs for your child. To know that your child is hungry, but there's nothing to feed him or her. And that's a daily reality for people all over the world, including in our own neighborhoods, on our streets and in some cases, in our homes.

To make matters worse, the tightening economy has people frightened. Food pantries are not only straining under greater demand, they're pinched by fewer donations. Fewer people donate because they're afraid of not having the money or food when they need it for themselves.

Here's what some of us can do.

If you have a pantry, and it has food in it, walk on over. Take a look inside. That can of beans you were going to use to make chili in January? Still in there? How about the creamed corn you got because you thought your family would like it?

Right now. Reach into your pantry, take out that can or box of non-perishable foods that you know you're not going to eat anyway. Take it out to your car. Put it right on the passenger's seat, or on the dashboard. Someplace you'll find it the next time you're driving.

Most chain grocery stores have collection boxes for the local food pantry or food bank. When you're on your way in, drop off that can or box. It's a small thing, but there's strength in numbers.

If you donated a can of food this week, I want to know. Tell me about it in the comments.

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