Participating in holiday food drives is an efficient way to help people in your community. Whether you donate non-perishable food or transfer some of your money to a food bank, these actions ensure that families in your community have enough food on their tables during this time.
However, donations often decline as December’s public holidays give way to January’s gray days, trying to recoup the economic losses suffered in the past month or two. Kay Carter, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, told Real Simple:
The holiday season isn’t the only time our community struggles. USDA reports that in 2021 he had 13.5 million food insecure households. This is her over 10% of the US population. This means that many families struggle with access to consistent food throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.
Donating during the holiday season is commendable and a great way to provide support during special times of the year. But he shouldn’t limit donations in November and he in December when members of our community are suffering from hunger. As you make plans to give while on vacation, you should probably think about how you can support your local food bank or pantry more regularly.
It’s no secret that the US emergency food system is flawed in many ways. The food banks and pantries that so many depend on were born out of policy failures during the Reagan administration. The government has pulled back assistance programs that previously helped families put food on the table. Even after some policies, many people in our community are still forced to rely on food banks. there is. Often times, people who use food pantries can’t even choose the foods they want and are instead relegated to what’s left.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support your local pantry. It means we should think more about how we reach out. Are we doing it to feel better about ourselves, or are we really looking to reach out to someone in need? You can be more strategic about your giving by making donations at different times of the year instead of just giving. You may be able to ask your local food bank for specific foods or resources they are looking for. This will allow your friends and neighbors to get more of the food they want to buy, not just the food they are given.
For many people, vacation is a time of giving and a time of reaching out to their neighbors. But if you want to build a stronger community, you need to keep that energy going all year round.
Samantha Maxwell is a food writer and editor based in Boston. Follow her on her Twitter. @Sam Seating.