Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…











{November 22, 2010}   Food Drives-donate the good stuff too!

It’s that time of year where we put the tubs out in the lobby and ask for donations to help supply the food banks. Schools are doing it, businesses are doing it and we do it through the end of the year. My office collects all year-long. People are hungry all year-long and it’s not uncommon for some of the volunteers I work with to grab a can of soup or beans from the tub outside my office .

Not that beggars can be choosers, but I always tell the teen groups I work with to donate canned food that they like to eat. Ravioli, Mac and Cheese, Spaghetti-O’s. Why is it that when people donate canned items, they always give the items that they don’t want in their cupboard or that’s been in their cupboard since the cold war? I’m actually surprised at some of the food that’s in my box. Canned applesauce? Creamed Split Pea Soup? 10 cans of Cream of Celery?

I’m not sure what people are expecting out of the people who are forced to turn to food banks. Are they thinking they’ll be so grateful that they’ll puncture that can of lima beans with a dull knife and just start gulping it with half gloves and grubby fingernails?

More and more people of all types are going to food banks to help supplement their meals. Lots of food banks now are voucher free and lots of these food banks are helping our neighbors, patrons and community members be able to stretch their income to pay for essentials like housing and transportation to work.It’s a tough world out there.

When you donate to the banks, remember who they are helping to feed: Children, Elderly, Growing Babies and Teens. Think high nutritional donations. Peanut Butter, Canned Tuna, good soups loaded with veggies and meat. Cream of Chicken is a good donation choice, but remember that those item types mostly complement real chicken in casseroles and dinners.

I know it’s the thought that counts, but let’s make sure we are thinking it through. Donate what you like to eat, you’ll feel  more connected and better about it in the end! You will…believe me 🙂

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