Monday, February 29, 2016

Shop for the basket

The Ethical Society of Austin has several ethical action programs, one of which is an ongoing campaign to promote cash and in-kind donations to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.  This food bank is tasked with supplementing the food needs of residents of not just Travis County but also the Counties of Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coryell, Falls, Fayette, Freestone, Gillespie, Hays, Lampasas, Lee, Limestone, Llano, McLennan, Milam, Mills, San Saba, and Williamson.  

The need is great.  The work is important.  Our part in this effort is small.  It is, however, essential, and ESOA is committed to doing its part.  Each week members are reminded to bring their donations for the food bank and place them in the yellow basket.  

Donations include:
  • non-perishable foods;
  • empty ink cartridges;
  • cash or check.
Sometimes we forget to bring items for the basket.  In my case, I am trying to reduce the size of my pantry (long story), so I am trying not to "stock up" on things as I used to.  That has made it a challenge to find something in the pantry for which I don't already have specific meal plans at the moment when I am ready to leave for our Sunday meeting and just then remembering that I should bring a can for the basket.  My strategy to deal with this is:
  • Make a personal commitment to support this program.  That is, I am accepting that this is an important part of ESOA's ethical action in the community.  Therefore, I want to be an active participant in making our action successful.  That means finding food or money for that yellow basket!
  • Shop for the basket.  That is, when I go to the grocery store now, I have a list of what to buy, and I more or less follow it for my own food needs.  While I am shopping, I also look at items that I think might be good for a family that needs some extra help in the pantry.  I toss in 2 to 4 cans so that I can bring them for the yellow basket.
  • Make it easy on myself to get the food to the basket.  That is, I bag the food for the basket separately and, if the weather is looking reasonable, leave the bag in the car.  That way, the bag comes with me when I go to our Sunday meeting.  Otherwise, I bring the bag inside my home and have it near the door so that I can (hopefully) remember it when I go to our meeting.
This may sound a little hokey, but there are lots of food drives around.  We are asked to place a bag of groceries near our mail box now and then.  We are asked to donate a little extra at the cash register at our grocery store.  Some stores have barrels for you to place canned goods.  Some have prepackaged bags for the food bank.  Indeed, we have so many opportunities to give that we can tune out the message.  And our lives are busy enough that it is also a challenge to remember every single week to bring that can.

So this week, see if my strategy will work for you.   If it does, then next Sunday we'll see you with something in your hand and you can put it in the yellow basket.  If all else fails--Capital Area Food Bank of Texas can turn your dollar into four meals.  We'll even take your quarters!

Every week.  Nutrition is an ongoing need, which is why it is so important that our support is also ongoing.

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