In America, we have food pantries to help to feed the poor. What is available? Well, it depends on what people donate. Some also depends on what the people in charge of the pantry buy as staples. So, as a former food pantry volunteer and partaker, I have some suggestions:
- Donate what you like to eat. O.k. Do you like to eat canned beats? No? Well, then don’t donate them. Just because someone is poor, it does not mean they have poor taste in food.
- Donate non-food items. This is extremely important as while we can get food with our food stamps, we cannot get personal care items like deodorant, shampoo, lady products, laundry detergent, hand soap, body wash, or soap, etc. Please consider this, as it makes life extremely challenging to go to an interview without being able to shave. What kind of job will you be able to get if you don’t smell too fresh? Also, what about toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, and multivitamins?
- Also, please be aware that many states charge a pink tax on women’s products, so that, in addition, to the exorbitant cost of tampons/pads, etc. there is also a quite hefty “luxury charge tax” which makes them even more unattainable for the poor. Also, condoms, which primarily get used for birth control and STD prevention, can also be used to protect a wound, since they are waterproof and highly stretchable. Bandages, guaze, and antibacterial ointment are also very helpful.
- Consider donating money, as then the people in charge of the food pantry can procure fresh produce and meat for the hungry. This may mean the difference between eating canned chicken and having a roast chicken for dinner. Which would you prefer?
So, please try to put yourself in the shoes of those in need. We don’t want your cast-offs or your three-years-past-date canned asparagus. And yes, when I volunteered at a local food pantry I saw the many-years-past-date items that were donated. It was really disheartening. Just figure if you would love to eat it, so would someone else! We are all human, after all. Some just have better monetary circumstances than others. Really, people, what would Jesus do?