I spent the better part of an afternoon last week slicing brownies for a local food bank. I don’t do this regularly. The last time I performed any sort of food-related philanthropy was maybe five years ago, when I helped out at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. (To be honest, I haven’t done much in the way of philanthropy in general since I was a little kid and my Mom forced me to go door-to-door in the frigid New England winter, peddling UNICEF cards to benefit children’s rights worldwide; the irony escaped me at the time.) But I got to thinking that for someone who works with food, loves food, is pretty much consumed with food all day every day, I sure could do a lot more to help feed the hungry. Even a little more would be a start.
Surely my brief volunteer experience last week heightened my sensitivity, but it seems I’m reminded every day now of world hunger issues and the huge gap between the food-rich and the malnourished. Just this week, for instance, it’s announced that a sheep and goat disease is threatening food supplies for millions in Africa. And of course, Thanksgiving is on its way. But rather than feel guilty, I’d like to feel I’m making a difference. I checked the American Institute of Philanthropy and found that two of its top-ranked hunger organizations are Action Against Hunger and Bread for the World Institute. So even if my time is short this holiday season, I can make an online donation in just minutes. Please let me know your preferred ways to combat hunger locally or globally.