Commentary – Don’t feed the bears, feed your community

Richard Froese

School is out for another year and time to relax and take it easy from the regular busy grind of meetings and other activities. It is time for picnics and fun out at the lakes and parks with family and friends.

Summer is also historically a dry time for local food banks with bare shelves, even though demand can remain high.

Now and always is also a good time to think about sharing your abundance of food with your neighbours. First, as you shop for groceries for your picnic or outing, be generous and donate to your local food bank box in grocery stores.

Who knows, one day each of us with abundance of food may be in that same crisis of having to scramble for food to make ends meet.

Go further and cut back and sacrifice your food and starve yourself to a degree and feel how needy people are.

Walk in their shoes for a day or two, or more.

During the summer, most of us would probably admit that we eat too much when we work less and have more idle time on our hands; like just sitting around nibbling on munches watching television at home.

Many people probably had plenty to eat as we celebrated Canada Day on July 1. Now, take that a step further and celebrate your community and neighbours.

Initiate a block party and specially invite those who are less fortunate and struggle to keep their kitchen stocked with food, the necessity of life.

Those individuals, couples, families and seniors will certainly appreciate that care and love extended from their neighbours. We have all heard the popular question that some people face in the crisis situation – Do we pay for the rent or buy food?

Use every opportunity to keep the local food bank stocked.

Many community events over the summer draw hundreds of people who seem to have deep pockets. Organizers may consider a box for people to donate to the food bank.

Unfortunately, sometimes the less fortunate aren’t able to attend those big events because they don’t have the economical means.

They need and choose to spend their money on food, rather than luxuries.

Food is always the flavour of community events such as volunteer-appreciation days and community barbecues hosted by organizations, municipalities and businesses.

Sometimes the food is free, which offers a good service to the less fortunate in the community.

Whatever the case, it also another good opportunity to support the food bank.

All too often, people are eager to receive because it meets their needs. But a community is all about love and care for others.

Many churches provide a free breakfast or lunch on Sundays as part of their ministries along with the worship service.

They open their doors to the needy and street people. Often those special guests help and serve others then to return the thanks. At my grandfather’s funeral, his eldest son stated in the eulogy that his philosophy in life is that “there is no free ride in life”, although I can’t remember him actually say that.

None of us deserve any freebies; we have to work, serve others, for our keep.

A former church pastor of mine occasionally expressed a phrase that reflects the state of a greedy society.

“Give me, give me, gi’ me, gi’ me, gi’ me!”

Think of others, more than yourself. Remember what some people quote from the Bible.

“It is more blessed to give that to receive.”

“Do unto others as you want them to do to you.”


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