Food is something that all of us interact with on a daily basis. Through our taste buds, in our thoughts, the wafting of dinner through the apartment.
Most of us reading this blog have plenty. In fact, many of us have too much food. Each year, American’s throw away 40% of the food they buy! However, there are so many in the world and in our communities, who don’t have enough and the level of disparity is hard to swallow.
When Daniel spent the day as a homeless person last month, I expected him to come back with something. For the 12 hours he was in the city, no walker-byer offered him a single thing. The one meal he received that day, he had to “work” to get. He walked over 10 miles for a jar of peanut butter and an apple from a community food pantry. The amount of gratitude that both he, and I, felt from those items is immense. But what I am trying to say is, we may think that the homeless and the hungry are getting handouts left and right, I’m not so sure that is true.
Feeding the hungry is something that Daniel and I are both passionate about. We always try to have food on hand to give away, but have also been curious to learn more about what others are doing to help. So as we have traveled, we have tried to volunteer with organizations that are feeding people.
So far we have had the opportunity to work with 4 community gardens in Montreal, DC, Oregon, and Montana. First of all, I just love gardens and learning about how our food is created. Second, I love the mission to provide fresh vegetables for those in need. Two weeks ago in Eugene, Oregon, we were able to harvest about 50 pounds of Spinach for the local food bank.
Another effort in feeding the hungry that I recently learned more about is similar to gleaning or passing on extra food to the poor. In Vancouver, Kitchen on a Mission, connects people who have a vehicle to a shelter and restaurants with excess food. We picked up 70 pounds of bread and drove it across town to a men’s shelter.
While we haven’t yet achieved our feeding 5,000 goal for the year, we are gaining on it. To date we’ve served a meal to 1,852 human beings, in the following forms and fashions:
- 192 at a church in Cincinnati, OH
- 500 brown bag meals with the SOMsistahs in South Florida
- 450 Thanksgiving Meals At Branches in Miami
- 250 Thanksgiving meals packed on the Pan Handle of Florida
- 123 with community gardens in Montreal, Great Falls, Wolf Trap, and Eugene
- 181 homeless goodie bags given out all across the US and Canada
- 70 Kitchen on a Mission in Vancouver
- 86 meals delivered through Meals on Wheels in Montana
I would love to hear your stories and experiences with reducing food waste and feeding the hungry. Please share with me in an email or in the comments section below.
Be well. LOVE.