My son goes to preschool in a church building. The preschool isn’t run by the church, we jut rent space from them but we coexist with the congregation and their programs cordially. It’s a Methodist church, so a congregation that’s active on social justice and helping in the community.
On the second Tuesday of each month, the church is a pick up location for a local food bank. I don’t know what time the food pantry opens. 9:30? 10? I don’t know because I have a kitchen full of food at home and a steady income with which to buy more. But every second Tuesday, by 9 am there is a line of people at the front doors of the church, waiting for a bag of groceries to take home.
The people there are all kinds. Many appear elderly. A few with obvious trappings of disabilities like wheelchairs. So many minorities. I don’t know what brings them to the food pantry. Job loss, maybe. Inadequate wages. Holes in the social safety new. I don’t know why they need food.
Most of all I don’t know where they go all the other Tuesdays of the month to get a bag of groceries.
Whenever I see that line of people, I feel a knot inside me. It reminds me to give to the food bank that organizes that food pantry and dozens like it in my county. Usually, I just give money but I’ll also contribute food when a drive or pick-up is nearby. I always give baby food and formula. Some mother needs it.
If you’re thinking about your charitable giving, consider a food bank. Somewhere in your community there is a line of people like the one at my son’s school every second Tuesday.