One Step Away From Hunger: Food Pantries

Food pantries often do more than just hand out food for people. They may also give out clothing, blankets and other necessities. Some offer classes, teaching cooking techniques and other skills. They can be a conduit between social services and people in need.

You may think the people they serve are homeless or have some sort of mental problem. That isn’t true, and probably never was. There have been occasions in the recent past where those who once donated regularly are now recipients. Most of us are one paycheck away from being in this group.

There are several ways food pantries get donations. Most of them come from us. News articles come out when local pantries are running low on food. Children’s groups, such as Scouts, will sponsor food drives at local stores. They’ll give a list of needed items to the customers and often enough, a can or box will be added to the bin on the customer’s way out.

Companies also get involved. Grocery stores and restaurants are obvious helpers, but sometimes a business will put a bin in their lobby with a sign asking for donations. Those bins also seem to get filled.

By now you probably know how bad the economy is, but you may not know how bad the food situation is. There are a lot of families that don’t have enough to eat. Sometimes it’s because there’s no pantry in their area. At other times, it might be because the shelves are bare. Sometimes it’s pride.

Whatever the reason, right now there are a lot of families in a world of hurt. Their children are going to bed hungry. The only meal those kids may get is a school lunch, and then only when school is in session. The only thing between them and that fate is the area food pantry.

Naturally an article of this nature is a call to arms. We don’t have to let our friends and neighbors down in their hour of need. If everyone who is able to donate buys an extra item or two at the market, or donates money, we can feed the hungry.

If you don’t know who is running one in your area or where it is, either look it up in the phone book or call a local church. It doesn’t take a lot to help them out. You never know when you might be in need of this valuable service.

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