A Trip Worth Repeating
Donating to a Food Pantry
Mondays can be tough for me, particularly during the busy holiday season. It is always a struggle to find the time to fit in all the activities that the holiday season brings, and work too. It’s enough to make everyone feel a bit Grinchy. But this past Monday I took a short road trip to remind myself of what this season is really all about. Over my lunch break a colleague and I packed my car with 469 pounds of donated food and sundries for the Upper Valley Haven, with the help of our shipping and receiving folks. Each year the Dartmouth College Library Staff Association runs a food drive for this very worthy cause. As former Presidents of the Association, we have the privilege to bring the food to the Haven. The Dartmouth College Library has a lot of staff, and as you can see by the pictures, my car was packed full.
Once we arrived at the Haven, the director of the food shelf quickly found volunteers to help us unload our vehicle. She told us how much they appreciated treats like cake mixes, and other goodies for folks as their shelves were already completely empty of such luxuries for the holidays.
Food pantries are increasingly necessary in our community. Many are underemployed, unemployed or underpaid. Senior citizens on a fixed budget are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. The Haven not only operates as a food pantry, they also shelter those who are in transition or find themselves suddenly homeless.
My town also has a food shelf. My church has a permanent box for donations that I contribute to regularly. This year, many of us are participating in a reverse advent calendar, instead of opening a scene on a calendar or eating a piece of chocolate, our family is putting food and sundries into a box that will be brought to church on Christmas Eve and distributed to the food pantry.
One of the most difficult things that food shelves face is the drop off in donations right after the holidays, at a time when people are struggling to pay heating bills, and could use the extra boost of a free bag of groceries. Please consider taking a short road trip yourself to the Haven or any other food pantry. Get your friends and family members involved. If you can’t make it this week, but still want to contribute, cash donations are also appreciated. If you can spare the time, consider volunteering too.
My resolution for 2017 is to make sure I make this trip more often than once a year. May your holidays, however you celebrate them, be filled with peace joy and happiness.