Alea and I have been talking a lot about Christmas lately. I really want to teach her that Christmas isn’t all about all of the things that you get, but it’s also about the spirit of giving. And not just giving gifts to friends and family, but doing all that we can to help others in need. We’ve tried to do something each year and share it with here on the blog to inspire others to help as well, and this year will be no different!
This year we’ll be giving to our local food pantry, Bethel Butikk Food Pantry & Thrift Store. And I honestly cannot wait to load up our canned goods and boxes of pasta and macaroni and cheese and bring them over to our local food pantry. I honestly had no idea this location even existed and it’s so exciting that it’s so close to our house.
It really sheds light on the need within the vicinity of our neighborhood. Sure, it’s important to help those in impoverished countries, but we need to look out for our own as well, especially when there are families who can barely put a meal on their table right in our own cities or towns. If you’re striving to help those in faraway lands, I’m sure you’re left feeling helpless and disappointed. But those in need are closer than you would’ve ever thought and helping those in your own neighborhood and even your own town! But that’s just my two cents!
This holiday season, Walmart is hosting the Walmart Food Pantry Holiday Makeover campaign. This campaign will provide $1.5 million in grants to the winning food pantries to help improve and renovate their facilities. Voting begins on December 2nd at 12:01am EST and ends on December 12th at 11:59PM EST. Hurry and go vote for your favorite or local food shelf HERE and they could win a facility makeover! They’ll have the opportunity to purchase new kitchen and storage equipment, furniture, paint among many other needed supplies with the grant they’re provided by Walmart and your votes! The 75 with the most votes will receive a $20,000 grant and the winning food pantries will be announced on December 15th.
Walmart is actively involved in ending the issue of hunger in the United States. They’ve donated more than 1.5 billion pounds of food and exceeded over $2 billion in donations. And Walmart has also announced a new initiative to provide more access to affordable and nutritious food for those in need. This means they’ll be providing 4 billion healthier meals to those in need in the United States over the next 5 years! To learn more visit: foundation.walmart.com.
I recently did a little research into the topic of what food pantries really need from us. And I was pretty impressed with what I learned! Some of these little tips I hadn’t even thought of before, so I’m hoping it’s news to you as well.
What to Donate:
001. Easy Open Cans: Buy the cans with the pop tabs on them. Who knows, the person they’re given the cans to, might not even have a can opener at home or might not have access to one if they’re living on the street.
002. Nothing in bulk: This may seem helpful, but it’s actually better to donate in normal-sized quantities. This way they aren’t given 12lbs of flour to one family. You know what I mean?
003. Boxes instead of Glass or Bags: Bags tear and glass breaks and when you think about how many people will be handling the products between the time you donate them and the time they’re given to a family in need, this is a legitimate concern. You don’t want your donations going to waste!
004. Non-perishable Nutritious Foods: I was halfway joking when I mentioned macaroni and cheese above, but the food shelf is really looking for nutritious meals for their families. They want something that’s not only filling, but also packs the nutritional-punch, especially because this meal may be the only one that family gets that day. Think peanut butter, canned meat, low-sugar cereals, and 100% juice.
005. Look at their Needs: Most food pantries and donation centers have their needs listed on their website or if you call them, they’ll likely be able to tell you exactly what they’re short on or what they’re looking for. During the holiday season, they’ll likely also have families in mind with ages and sizes for children they’re in need of Christmas gifts for.
I’m hoping to gather our food shelf picks this week and bring them over to our local food shelf. I hope you all will consider doing so as well this year! Even if it’s just a few items, any amount can help!
How are you giving back to your community this holiday season?