Last week, I took some food to the local food pantry. I had been driving the food around in my car for a couple of days because I was never able to get to the drop off during their hours.
When I pulled up that morning, I was taken back by how many vehicles were parked outside. A delivery truck was around the side, and all the parking spaces were full. I unbuckled Baby Gray and headed inside. The room was packed with men and women waiting in line for food. Little old ladies in their matching t-shirts were shuffling to and fro trying to wait on these folks.
I could not believe the demand on the place. It made me think, maybe I should purchase a few things for the food pantry each week when I grocery shop. Obviously, there is a need for it. On one sign, there was a hand-written message that there would be no turkey this year. This made me sad. Our family will enjoy at least two turkey dinners this week as part of our holiday tradition. Some folks are just grateful for whatever is available for pick-up from the pantry.
On the radio the other morning, I heard them talking about a church group who chose to eat nothing but beans and rice twice a day the way that many people in Africa do for their daily survival. At the end of the time frame, they pooled the money they saved on groceries and donated it to an organization that feeds the hungry in Africa. Several quotes from participants were included in the radio spot, and they all stated how grateful they were that they were on such a limited diet by choice and not because that was truly all the had.
A guest pastor spoke at Revolution a couple of weeks ago. He told us about people eating dirt cookies in Haiti simply to make the hunger pains subside. They mix water with dirt and bake it. Can you imagine?
I feel a call to action of some sort moving in my heart. I’m not sure what this means for me yet, but I know I don’t want to turn a blind eye to those who are hungry–especially here in our own community. I’ve never been truly hungry. Sure, I say all day, “Man, I’m hungry.” Mr. Gray and I joke about how grouchy I get when I’m hungry. I’ve never really been hungry, though. I want to do something to help others have enough food on their plates–all throughout the year. Not just now that it’s the holidays and awareness is heightened.
For starters, I’m adding a standing “extra” to my grocery list. Each Monday morning when I shop, I will pick up food for the local food pantry as well and drop it off on my way home. Is that going to stop the hunger in our whole community? No. But maybe, just maybe, someone else will have a meal they wouldn’t have each week. After all, we have been blessed so that we can go out and bless others.