Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Help out your local Food Pantry this winter

A few years ago my daughter's Girl Scout Troop was working on a food and nutrition badge. As we discussed some of the badge requirements in the Troop meeting we got to discussing who does not have access to good, healthy foods. Not surprisingly the girls first started listing off several impoverished nations. So they were surprised to find out that many people locally do not have access to fresh healthy food because it is usually more expensive. This led to a great service project that year with a local food pantry.

This year our Troop is again doing a Food Drive. Our last collection day is Wednesday 11/18 as we're delivering our donations the following day. If you're in Newington, NH feel free to drop any non-expired food or household item (detergent, soap, personal care items) off at the Newington Town Hall. We will be visiting the Seacoast Family Food Pantry with our donations.

The need for food is greater this year than ever. So many families are struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes the only area of flexibility in frugal budgets is to reduce how much is spent at the grocery store. Using coupons and watching sale flyers are great ways to reduce how much we spend, but we can't always provide a healthy diet with vegetables and fruits by relying on coupons and sales alone. This year there are more and more families relying on Food Pantries, some may even be your neighbors. These are not families just looking for a handout, they're regular folks who are struggling and want to make sure they're taking care of their families.

Many food pantries also collect more than just food. Household items, cleaners, personal care items, and laundry detergent are all welcome donations. The big thing to watch for is to make sure none of the donated items have expired. Several food pantries have refrigerators and freezers and can accept perishable and frozen foods, although you should check before dropping these items off.

The need is year round, but the holidays are a busy time that you can help out with. So many businesses and organizations are holding food drives. If you're able to help out pick up one or two extra things when you shop this week and drop it off at a food drive.

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