Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I went food shopping tonight at the local supermarket. My mother asked me to get a few items for the parish food pantry for Thanksgiving. This is a great thing the Church does now. When I was young, canned food drives for the poor were big, as canned food can be stored without spoiling and is relatively cheap. This led to lots of cans of lima beans and peas being collected. The ironic thing is that most people who are in need around here would have food stamps that would help to pay for these things, and the canned food is cheaper than most things. The really expensive stuff that can't be purchased with food stamps such as paper towels, toilet paper, etc.. would usually not be collected. The system our parish and many other local parishes use today is better - the items that are needed are printed in the bulletin most weeks. The items change from time to time as the needs vary. People can bring the items to Church and put them at each entrance into big wooden boxes, made by parishioners. The Church has a constant supply of household items that are truly needed by people. The bags of items at each entrance also remind people as they are going in and out of Church that people are in need, and everyone is uplifted a bit when they see how much stuff has been donated. Our parish helps out some local families that are in need and every once in awhile some volunteers with a truck come by and pick up the rest for one of the local shelters, or pantries in other parishes that are less wealthy. The system seems to work well, at times the bulletin will even ask that certain items not be donated as they have enough to last awhile.