DO WHAT? I was horrified. Is this all that poor hungry Americans are eating? They stood in line awaiting their names to be called. No one looked happy. No one was joyful. The room was very somber. The room was filled with hungry needy people, over 300 families were represented. But this is all they were given. This particular food pantry, and I am guessing many food pantries across the nation offer little nutrition for folks to survive on.
I understand the challenges of keeping and offering fresh and frozen produce and risks of spoilage and overstocking. But wouldn’t those risks be worth it to actually feed people? Don’t we want to feed people so they can live life to their fullest potential and so they can be healthy, instead of dead food that does not provide nutrients for their bodies? Perhaps the food being offered may even be making people sick? I have learned enough about boxed man made food full of preservatives to know this is not something we should be feeding people and definitely not expect them to have any quality of life if they have to live on it longterm which many of these families do.
What about free gardens and orchards? Can you imagine every park in your community, and empty spaces every few blocks through out town, planted with FREE GARDENS? Can you imagine fresh salad greens and cooking greens available at local food pantries?
People need nutrients. LIVING LIFE GIVING ALL NATURAL NUTRIENTS. It cost to much to buy these nutrients at the stores today. Partly because it is all shipped in from across the country and out of season and the costs are sky high.
Seriously not even I can afford good quality nutrient dense foods at the stores lately. I am feeding a family of 8 people and it costs an unreal amount to buy fresh nutrient dense food for our family. I am also limited on storage space at this time, and wish I had a second freezer, and a root cellar full of winter produce and crocks of fermented foods, and a greenhouse /hoop house for winter gardening, and I wish I had put up 10 times more food for the winter from my own garden, but I didn’t. But it is possible for each of us to learn how to do this, and empower our selves and our neighbors to eat healthy living foods.
This is a dream of mine, to grow fresh gardens for the needy. I want to use the farm to feed and educate folks who want to know how to grow their own food and help themselves. Then for those who want to learn, have them come and help in the gardens, and learn. I want to head over to their homes and apartments and help them start gardens in their own yards or on their balconies that are easy to care for. Give them everything they need to get started and help them start it. Teach them in a hands on way. It doesn’t have to be a big overwhelming garden to bring them fresh nutrients. It they have the room in their yard, we can plant a bigger garden, or if they only have space along a flower bed we can put it there. It can be something as simple as a small planter box on the balcony that can grow fresh salad greens and herbs or a jar on the kitchen counter that can sprout seeds to provide fresh nutrients for a salad, soup, or stir fry the needy can easily make.
I recently read this article aboutfood pantries starting their own gardens. What a wonderful answer to a desperate situation! If every food pantry had a garden, a green house, as well as a room for dry goods, and rooms with refrigerators and freezers for cold and frozen goods, and a commercial kitchen to teach nutrition classes and prepare some of the garden produce in, then food pantries would go along way in meeting the true needs of hunger in America, and in each local community.
There is an old saying: “If you give a man a fish, he will eat for the day, but if you give him resources like a fishing pole and tackle, and teach him how to fish, he can eat for a lifetime and feed others in his community too.”