Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas! Please Remember Your Local Food Pantry. {Giveaway}

      I just shared about going to the Fabulous Food Show last weekend and it was great fun! We stuffed ourselves full of food truck goodness and partook of the generous samples from the booths. We will be spending the holidays with our extended family and enjoying lots and lots of good food. We are all so blessed.



     I know not everybody is as fortunate as we are. When people are going through a difficult time, one thing which can really help is knowing there is enough to eat. Last year I shared this article about ten things foodbanks won't ask for  on this blog post: Can you spare a square? What food pantries really need.

     Again, I'll tell you I think the items are better off donated straight to the local food pantry, since the local food pantry has to pay the food bank for items. I know it's less costly than buying at the store, but your donation straight to a food pantry avoids the middleman. We support the  Sharing Center  at St. Paul's in Sharon Center, which offers help to people in Medina County. Once a month, people can come in and shop the Sharing Center. 

     The Sharing Center is helped along by so many different sources. School food drives sometimes go straight to the sharing center. Every other Thursday night is their night for Panera Bread donations. Volunteers go pick up everything left at the end of the night from Panera. As a matter of fact, Panera Bread does a lot to help hungry people. You can even sell Panera Bread gift cards as a fundraiser for your non-profit organization! Now there's a fundraiser I can appreciate. Gift wrap and questionable candy? Not so much. You can learn more about all the ways Panera Bread helps at Panera Cares.

*this was not done as an advertisement. It's just me appreciating a company who gives so much where others opt to throw good food in the trash. 

    Sometimes the clients speak up about what they never see at this (or any other) place where they get free food. They don't see spices, not even salt and pepper. There is never sugar or flour. These are pantry staples for everyone, so there must be some reason for it. I just do not know what it is. Personal care items are sometimes unavailable or in low supply. Cream of anything soups are in high demand, but not often on the shelves. Rarely have I seen chocolate, crackers, or baby items, People appreciate toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, dish soap(!) and shampoo/conditioner. There are also no condiments. 

     I bet there's a place close to your house just like our Sharing Center. I bet they would be thrilled if you and some of your friends dropped off a few bags of stuff. Why not go out to lunch with your friends and then swing by with a donation? Calling ahead is good, of course, since these volunteer run places do not have paid staff - make sure someone will be there to take your donation. If you do not have time  you can always donate cash.


     Last weekend at The Fabulous Food Show we met these great students from John Carrol University who are doing their group project to help end hunger and homelessness. They started something called Coins For Cleveland.  They are partnered up with the Cleveland Food Bank. If you click this link right here you can make a donation. All of the money goes straight to the food bank, but the kids get the acknowledgement for the fundraising.  The page shows what your donation will do. For example, a $30 donation will buy 450 oranges or 150 pounds of pasta! That's your donation really going far! If you want to donate easy peasy on the internet, this is a great way to do it.

     Really, if you can do it, you will feel so great to know you have helped other people have a great holiday season. Now that I have implored you to do something for people, how about something for you? Because I was yapping about Panera Bread and everything they do to help, how about a $50 Panera Bread gift card for one of you?



     In addition to the Panera Bread gift card, my friend Ilene from Hippie Chick Granola has generously donated a $25 gift card for you for the best granola in the world. I have tried other granolas and they shouldn't even be called the same thing. Win it now, order and enjoy - you can thank me later, when you are addicted to this delicious stuff! I am a huge fan of the Kimberly blend because I love ginger. She has fantastic flavor combinations. You just can not go wrong.

     Who wants to win!?

     First, I'm going to ask you a little favor. But it's fun, and I think you will enjoy it. Please watch this video:


     Thanks. Now, go ahead and enter this giveaway in the form below.

62 comments:

  1. I will give my mom flowers to make her day awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will do my mom's hair, haircut and perm.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am hoping to make the day awesome for my mom by keeping her out of the kitchen and doing it all myself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Helped a family in need get food, natbelinsky@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  5. I will help my mom out by making her Thanksgiving this year

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am spending time with my Mom this Thanksgiving..

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am going to help make the Thanksgiving meal today to help make my mom's day awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I made the day awesome by heading over to my daughter's new place and enjoying Thanksgiving lunch with her, her new hubby and my granddaughters!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I will make the day awesome by giving baked goodies to family and friends.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I never thought about buying salt, pepper and spices................thank you for this....................

    I will be giving a bag full of thes things

    ReplyDelete
  11. I try to pay it forward every way I can, every chance I get to family, friends and perfect strangers. I believe that what goes around comes around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! I wish the whole world would share this spirit - it's so fun to run into people who are this way because it makes the day shiny.

      Delete
    2. I love the term "makes the day shiny"! I hope you won't mind it I borrow that one from time to time.

      Delete
  12. My answer is above, buy my email is alolson1@charter.net
    Amie Olson

    ReplyDelete
  13. My sister didn't feel well yesterday, so I made Thanksgiving dinner myself.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I donate my time and food weekly to our food pantry.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I made cupcakes and played a game with my girls today. That made their day awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My neighbors have been out of town for a week and I know they are going to be exhausted when they come home. So I made an extra pan of lasagna and left at their house for dinner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I ever build a compound for people who are good people I am going to invite you!

      Delete
  17. i'll pay it forward by donating more
    flyergal82 AT (yahoo) /dot $com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'll help my friend who is about to have her third baby, and I'll volunteer at the food pantry.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My mother law is unable to get out so we took Thanksgiving to her.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I collect items for my Mokuaikaua Church Food Pantry almost everyday!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for doing this. We often forget about the things we all "need," in addition to the things we need ... hunger is about more than just starvation, and when we feed the hungry, we need to be thinking about them as whole people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, getting to volunteer and spend time with people while they go through the Sharing Center really helps you remember the whole person, not just the robotic sending of canned foods for the food drives.

      Delete
  22. Today I helped my neighbor put out her decorations in the yard for the entire neighborhood to enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Today at the grocery store I assisted a physically disabled man load some items into his cart, as he was not able to use his hands very well to pick up items on his own. I didn't want to stand and watch him struggle. That is how I made today awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm making the day awesome by getting great deals on Cyber Monday and remembering to take food to our food bank at church. I'm also going to remind everyone else through our church's FB page to donate. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alli Smith commented on MY blog??? I'm going to go faint now!

      Thank you so much for the reminder to your church family. It's such a great feeling to show up at the Sharing Center and see donations have been made and the shelves are refilled! Any great cyber Monday deals? I haven't even looked.

      Delete
  25. I am still trying to make scarves for the homeless shelter!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am fixing dinner for my daughter today to make her day awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Today I'm making freezer meals for my neighbor that has health issues. That way he just needs to warm something up and not worry about cooking. I try to stop in every couple of days to see if I can help him with anything.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Today I spent half an hour in Big Lots helping an elderly woman find "the' ribbon she needed. She had purchased 5 the day before and needed just one more. We finally found one in the housewares dept just laying on a plate/

    ReplyDelete
  29. I made my day awesome for my daughter when I bought her goodies to keep in her swim team locker!

    ReplyDelete
  30. we make our days awesome by starting with family time in the morning and riding our bicycles to school!
    onecheaplady@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Today I will be making soup for my brother and sister to freeze, or eat now, because they both have health problems and it makes it very hard for them to cook.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am going to make the day awesome by calling a dear friend that lives in Colorado.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am helping to gather cans for our local scout troop, who in turn will give to the needy.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm making my mom supper tonight! That should make her day!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I will make a awesome day by fixing my husband a great dinner

    ReplyDelete
  36. I will help to make my sister's day awesome by helping to make sure she has gifts to give to her grand-daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I will help make some children's day awesome by making some shoeboxes for charity.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Today we have gathered some clothes and shoes to donate to our local domestic violence shelter.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I took all of the toys over for Toys for Tots ... that was awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am going to make homemade bread for my husband today and a loaf for my neighbor too. Just because...

    ReplyDelete
  41. I stopped in to check on my neighbor today that's going through chemo and noticed that his house was a complete mess. So I cleaned his house and visited with him.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I am doing my sister's laundry while she is sick, picked up and delivered!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Today I volunteered at the Chrristmas toy and food giveaway at St Vincent De Paul it waas great.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Today I am going to try and make a really nice dinner for my husband who has been working so hard.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I cleaned the yard up next door that looked horrible. It made our neighborhood look better

    ReplyDelete
  46. When I was at the deentist we helped jump a ladies car who had quit on her. She was really happy!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Today I will be driving my sister to the doctor and watching her grand-daughter while she is in her office.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Yesterday, we donated 2 bags of canned goods to our local shelter. We do this every time we go grocery shopping, purchase the BOGO items, then give the "free" items. :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Today, I am going to drop by and visit a friend who has been sick. Going to give her a small basket I made of tea, cookies and some soup. :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Today I am going to be nice to my husband... he has been a bear lately. I know why, it has nothing to do with anyone but he has been crabby :)

    ellen beck

    ReplyDelete
  51. Today I am making cookies to take to my sister who is sick.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Not sure if my original comment went through, but I loved the video! Great movies, great lines, live it up!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Today I went outside and took my elderly neighbors trash container back up to her house for her and pickeed up a bit for her. She is 86 I dont know how she pulls that things as far as she does!
    ellen beck

    ReplyDelete