December 8th, 2007

Winged Heart Cup

For DC Metro Area Folk: Food Banks in Need

Today's WaPo has an article about area food banks experiencing a drastic shortage this season. It's apparently a combination of receiving fewer food supplies than usual, and many more people experiencing need.

(If you're of the mind that these places only enable lazy welfare queens, go read Nickel and Dimed and then bring that smug superiority back here if you can.)

Lots of you are trying to do some divestiture this winter; please consider divesting from your pantry as well! We all have those canned/packaged goods that are perfectly usable and not expired but that have been sitting on our shelves for a while. Consider rounding some of those up to give to people who will use them much more quickly than we will.

You'll want to check the website for any given food bank before bringing anything over, to make sure it meets their guidelines. Sadly, some of them may be wary of accepting peanut butter right now due to salmonella outbreaks, so check for any prohibitions in effect. (Why peanut butter? I'm sure someone on my flist has a link to the site describing why it's the ultimate food bank food, since it was a passion of G's-- suffice it to say that its durability and nutritional value, especially protein content, make it ideal for fighting hunger.)

If you've ever been really, really strapped for cash in your life, to the point that you're literally searching couch cushions for dinner money, you know that it can be impossible to think about anything but food. Your whole day centers around it-- dreaming about what you wish you had, worrying about how much you can spend on it, trying not to obsess over it, counting the minutes till you can eat again. It's an awful, scary, desperate feeling. Sharing food has always been a gesture honoring basic human dignity and our common humanity, cutting across cultures and religions and time. So if you are able to share something, even a single can, with people in need this winter, you're doing a truly great thing.
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