I have a confession.
I’m not proud to admit this, but when it comes to the fall food drive at my kid’s school, I am usually rummaging through the back of the pantry to see what I can send.
Needless to say, there is usually little to no thought or intention to what I’m giving because “At least I’m donating something” – right? I figured whatever I was sending would be used and the recipients would be grateful for anything.
At least that’s how I used to think until about two years ago when I met Ms. Rachel.
Ms. Rachel had been referred to me for nutrition counseling. Ms. Rachel was willing and ready to do the work necessary to improve her health. She had been exercising on a regular basis, was reducing her portions and trying to make better choices. For this particular meeting, I was doing a home visit and supposed to help guide her on how to cook healthy with the foods she had on hand.
Our meeting started off well, Ms. Rachel was interested and eager to learn how to prepare healthier meals for her husband and herself. Then I asked her if I could look to see what foods she had on hand.
With her head bowed low she said, “I won’t be able to go to the grocery for another week, so there is not much in there.”
I responded with naive optimism “It’s OK, I want to show you how we can work with what you have.”
In the fridge, there were some eggs, 1/2 loaf of bread, mayo and maybe 2 oranges (this was 2 years ago so my memory is a little shot).
Before opening her cupboard she prefaced with “All I have is what I got from the food pantry earlier this month.”
My heart dropped.
Lots of boxes of mac n cheese, canned ravioli, baked beans, Oreos, and canned corn.
That was it.
All I could think was “Shame on me! I am part of the reason why Ms. Rachel has limited food options. I don’t think before I give!”
As you read this you are probably thinking of one-two things:
“Yvette, shame on YOU! You should know better.”
“Yvette, I do the same thing! I never thought about it like this.”
And so that is why I am writing to you today.
If you rely on the donations from the food banks to feed your family, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I did not give with more intention and I promise to do better.
To read the rest of the story and learn how you can start giving with more intention, click here
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