I wanted to find a place to volunteer to help the less fortunate this holiday season, and my search led me to Feeding America; http://feedingamerica.org/.
It’s rated four stars by Charity Navigator, and is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity.
Their mission is “to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.”
They’re a meta-, or umbrella organization: They have their own programs, but also serve as a front end to local operations in every State.
You can donate directly through Feeding America, or use their site to find local agencies in your area, and donate there.
There’s more to it than money, too. You can volunteer your time instead, or in addition.
Using the Feeding America site, I connected with the The Greater Boston Food Bank, whose objective is very simple: To distribute enough food to provide at least one meal a day to those in need.
The Greater Boston Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. Last year, they distributed almost 41 million pounds of food, enough to provide healthy meals to over half a million people.
The place is huge --- a large warehouse with separate storage for room-temperature, refrigerated, and frozen foods.
(cell phone pic)
I sent them an online donation, and then signed up for a volunteer shift on the loading docks (above).
Each shipping dock half-shift has four volunteers assigned. I helped to load outbound food shipments and receive inbound food donations. In the slack times, I pushed brooms, and mopped spills.
I was tired at the end, but it felt good.
They also need volunteers who work assembling and boxing various food orders, prior to shipping. I think I’ll try that next, and work through all the volunteering options to see if one might be good for a regular weekly gig.
There’s almost a surely a food bank near you that could use a few bucks or few hours of your time, especially as food stamps and other public aid programs are being hacked to death in Washington.
If you can spare a few dollars or a few hours’ time, please consider helping out.