Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Free for the Hungry

Apparently the annual Scouting Food Drive that supplies the local food pantry each spring, has already run out of food. So the LDS church chose Saturday for some community and neighborhood food drives. For whatever reasons, the announcement of this particular food drive touched my heart more than any others, and I donated more generously than I typically do.

Upon seeing the ready-to-be-carried-outside-food by my front door on Friday night, Luke asked who we give it to and how it actually gets to the 'hungry people who need it.' I briefly explained how a food pantry works. Luke (remember here), ever the 'free stuff' kind of kid asked, "Well what if people don't really need it, but they go there because it is free."

With emotion in my voice, I explained to Luke that it really isn't the same as collecting free stuff passed out at a county fair, a vendor show, or a ball game. I tried to explain to him a little about pride, poverty and genuine needs. He left the conversation satisfied that the local food pantry probably wasn't being taken advantage of.

Saturday morning I had Ellie and Joshua do their best to drag the heavy cans out to the curb, with Joshua a little perplexed wondering exactly why we were putting food on the sidewalk, and Ellie doing her best to explain the process to him.
An hour or so after we set it out on the curb, it was gone. To which I heard Ellie announce to Joshua, "Looks like somebody who is hungry and needed it came by and got it."

I didn't explain the full food drive process to her. I didn't take the time to tell her that in fact it could well have been (non-hungry) Megan that picked up our donation as part of the youth involved in gathering it up.

My children all got the gist of the food drive.
It is for hungry people who need it.

We have never lined up at a food pantry or collected food from somebody's curb.
Contrary to Joshua's frequent declarations of, "I'm starving!", my children have never experienced hunger.
We are truly blessed.


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