This holiday season, I'm challenging myself to stay connected to the spirit of generosity, gratitude, family, & community by finding new ways to give and connect. Some may be very small, but all will be new or meaningful. I love setting aside time to focus on things that are important to me (because trying to be better at/about everything is overwhelming), so this should be a new and fun way to gain perspective.
Day 1: Food pantry delivery. I used to volunteer at a food pantry, and it's so tough to see things get tossed when people are so well intentioned! So here are some tips for donating to food pantries if you're interested and able:
* Do Your Research: find out the hours and needs of your local food bank/pantry so you don't wind up bringing stuff they can't accept! All will differ slightly, but the tips below I've found generally helpful.
* Focus on nutritious foods. While there are abundant treats around during the holidays and you might think they'd make a fun item to donate, pantries are looking for nutrient-rich items. Whole grains, low-sodium soups and canned veggies, vegetarian proteins like nut butter, beans, seeds, & granola bars. Avoid anything too sugary or salty (e.g. cookies, candy, canned fruit with added corn syrup, high sodium soups). Many places also accept fresh fruits & veg so you could repurpose a CSA delivery or grocery run!
* Personal hygiene items are also often accepted! Soap, toothpaste, combs, etc.
* If you don't have extra items to share but do have some time, food banks/pantries can be a great volunteer spot.