Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I can't remember a time when I was ever REALLY hungry. {Insert your own fat joke here.}

I am overwhelmingly thankful that my life has been relatively free of hardships like hunger or lack of housing, but I am becoming more and more aware that those struggles are all around us.
That's right- even all around YOU.

If you are reading this, you are on a computer with internet and most likely have free time to check some blogs versus plow the fields or dig for food in a dumpster. A little drastic? Maybe. But there are people within 20 miles of you who are hungry. I got a nice reality check last week at our local food pantry.

My women's group at church mans {would that be "womans"?} one of our local food pantries the second Tuesday of each month. Two of us volunteer to take the calls, load the bags and supply them to the people when they come in for 2 1/2 hours in the morning. I've been volunteering about twice a year for a few years now and last Tuesday was the busiest we've ever been.

If you've never seen a food pantry, I thought I'd show you what one looks like so it's not a mystery.

The one where we volunteer, called Carolyn's Cupboard, is actually a small storage room inside a church.
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There are also freezers full of meat and butter
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and also plenty of room for the good stuff!
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Seriously, here are the items I love to give away:Dec 09.1 006
Diapers and formula! Can't you imagine not being able to feed your little baby? It truly breaks my heart.

Our city has a main number that funnels calls to one of 30 food pantries around town depending on where the recipient lives.
There is a guideline of what food to give each family depending on the number of people in the family {the numbers on the left are just the line number; the quanitity was accidentally cut off on the right by your skilled photographer}.
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What amazed me this day I was there was the number of grandmothers who were calling in and were taking care of 5 or more grandchildren. It really leaves me speechless and I'm very rarely in that category.

Here is the one thing that is so rewarding to see, though! This is the chart of people served from this one little food pantry in 2009, not including December.
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On Tuesday when I was there, we were fortunate to be able to serve 6 families with about 5-6 in each family. That's over 30 people who were able to get a week's worth of food for free!

I don't tell you any of this for glory or appreciation. I am simply reporting for awareness. When Shawn Groves was on the last bloggers trip for Compassion, he mentioned that the same amount of people in the world are starving and obese.

That really hit home to me that there is enough to share. Whether it be around the world or around the corner, people need help. This is a great time of year to teach our children and remind ourselves about giving and I'd encourage you to help with your local food pantries if you can.

I believe I'll be donating some more coffee cakes just in case I sampled one while I was there...


Susannah said...

How wonderful Hillary! I do think it's great that Kelly from Kelly's Korner is great for showing us compassion, but I kept wondering what about our kids here in the U.S. Great post! Keep up the good work girl!

Dawn said...

thank you... for the peek inside. the pantry. and your heart. i need to not forget to thank God for every morsel i put in my mouth...

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I love your insider's look. I'm sad to say that while I've donated to food pantries, I've never worked at one...

marge said...

we have a foster kiddo in our home who was (not to be too depressing) severely malnourished when we got him (13 months and 17 pounds) with several other ailments. now he is flourishing. there are kids like this everywhere and i am so glad for services our church and others provide to give to families in need.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the peek inside. I volunteer weekly at a food pantry out here in Toney. We help 5-10 families a week with food and bill paying. It's a joy to help someone that really needs it. It leaves me so thankful to be a part of helping others and thankful for what we have. God is great.

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