Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reason #4867 of Why I love my Pantry

One of the reasons I have listed for deepening my pantry is for charity. Its listed in just about everyone's reasons (to take care of those you love) but it is a practical reason when the world hasnt gone to hell in a hand basket. Someone's personal life may have....

People fall on difficult times and different times. It may be a baby is born and things are tight. It may be a husband is out of work. It may be that they are home bound. It may be due to a death in the family or even divorce.

I have gone to my pantry recently for a couple of these reasons for someone else. It is an amazing feeling to take a box - pick out a weeks worth of food - attach recipe cards - throw in some fun/comfort foods and drop it off on a front porch.

I love the sneaking away feeling knowing that there will be a blessing when they open their front door.

With the recipe cards and fun stuff, it feels more like a gift than charity - but what is charity? Charity is love, so yes, I guess its love that you dropped off on their porch.

I dont want a "thank you" and I dont really care if they know it was me. I cant fix what is wrong with their lives, but I can make it better for a brief moment - give them one less thing to worry about. It also gives my kids something to think about. Something for them to recall as they are older as "thats just how my family did things."

Merry Christmas Bloggerville. God bless you during this season and in the seasons to come.

Praises for the birth of The Baby.

Praises for the life of The Man.

Praises for the victory of The Savior.

(Happy Holidays for those of you that do not share my beliefs....Blessings to you in this Season and upcoming year)


Sam said...

Right on Perls.

Years ago we took our kids with us every Christmas season to help pack food boxes at the Salvation Army (as my parents did with me).

Last Christmas one of our young grandkids told us the whole story of what it is like to help folks needing a hand by packing boxes at the Salvation Army. Dang, that was sweet to hear!

Like you, nowadays we go through our root cellar and fill a box or two and sneek them over to where they are needed around 5 AM or so. I love the recipe idea! Will do, Thanks!

I love your Praises, and we share them.

vivian said...

Good post, little yu.

Brad K. said...

I guess it depends on the neighborhood and background.

I would want to deliver the package, face to face, for a simple reason. So that the people receiving the gift will know - and can trust - both the giver and the gift.

I would hate to see a gift of food discarded, like loose Halloween candy, because the receiver doesn't know (enough) about where it came from, who it came from, what it's condition is, etc. When you prepare the food, it seems reasonable to let the receiver know who grew, selected, and processed the food - who to brag about, that is. Also, this could open a dialogue about preparation, gardening, heritage seed keeping, food processing, and community.

Then, too, a bit of honor attaches to accepting a gift. That is, one should use the gift in a manner that the giver does not regret the giving. That requires knowing the giver, and how to use the gift appropriately.

In other traditions, one is expected to return value for value. It is simple courtesy to let the receiver know who gave the gift.

On the other hand, giving anonymously doesn't give away the fact that someone in the neighborhood has enough food in the pantry to be giving it away. If things get ugly, that may be most important for family and food safety.

theotherryan said...

That is pretty darn nice.

Help U Prep said...

Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together and running over!
Great post,

HermitJim said...

I'm proud of my friends like you, girl! That's the real Christmas spirit! Wish it stayed with us all year long!

Thanks for sharing this! said...

Good post. I feel the same way about my pantry. It has really come in handy this year helping others get theirs stocked after job losses.

I drive my tractor in pearls... said...

Sam - that is exactly what I want to hear from my kids and grandkids someday!

Brad K - been thinking about your comment. Security is a concern that really didnt cross my mind. I didnt drop anything off to people that I didnt know or I didnt hear about one person removed.

I also didnt tell them where I got the food and I am sure they just assumed I went to the store and purchased (which I did a while ago ;).

Thanks for the reminder Brad!


Samuel said...

I think as long as you know the people it is okay to give anonymously - and more consistent with what Jesus asks of his followers, "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:" (Matthew 6).

I know it's important to think of safety in prepping - but we should never sacrifice our values or our heavenly bread for earthly bread.

If you think it's more consistent with your religious beliefs to give anonymously, and you are doing it safely, I say keep on keeping on.

Brad K. said...


I recall an anecdote from someone, about the drifters and hobos after the dust bowl and great depression. Something about "the men would come to the back door, and Mother would always make a sandwich for each one." What strikes me, now, thinking about that, is to be ready to respect another's need - and yet to establish boundaries. Because the rule was passed around, no one felt cheated - or that that house didn't deserve respect.

Think about Roger Miller's "King of the Road" "I know every Engineer on every train, all of their children, and all of their names, Every handout in every town, and every lock that ain't locked when no one's around. . ."

That bit about the honor of receiving a gift, and the responsibility to use the gift in a way that the giver doesn't regret the giving comes from a (very *good*) science fiction novel, "Balance of Trade", by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. That observation has made me think a lot about gifts.

And, then, reading here, on Chatelaine's Keys, and Casaubon's Book, it seems like dropping off the food makes an excellent opportunity to build a community. A way to assure yourself that they recognize the gift is a gift, that you respect their need and not pity their situation. And, lets you discover if there are other things that need doing - like teaching about sewing, about cooking, about staying healthy and reasonably comfortable until the electricity is turned back on, etc. Or line up someone to introduce them to the local fishing holes. Even if it means ice fishing (remind them not to drive the truck on the ice, if the ice isn't thick enough, even if the neighbors do).

When someone invites me to a meal, either at their home or at a restaurant, I always feel obligated to return the "favor". I wonder if dropping off food doesn't deprive someone of the chance to show their appreciation.

Pearls, I do not want to interfere with your joy in giving, in helping someone in need. As things are today, I think that "security" of your home and pantry is likely a low-level issue (in most neighborhoods). Even if things don't change in the future, food exchanges and gifts have a long history of bringing neighbors and friends together.

Blessed be!

Samuel said...

Just a reply to Brad's comment....

I've read a lot of accounts where after hurricanes and disasters one of two things happened depending on the level of community cohesion (how well neighbor's knew and trusted each other).

In neighborhoods where there was little trust - people would come to their neighbor's doorstep, sometimes with weapons, and demand food and water. Nevermind that their neighbor would gladly had shared if they asked - in the stress of the moment, trust broke down. We can see that happening in the post-Katrina violence and looting.

In neighborhoods where people knew their neighbors - often the neighborhood would come together to help with cleanup and to make sure everyone was taken care of. Instead of sitting out the disaster, they got together, shared meals, bartered and loaned for items they needed, and played cards.

Strange how much a difference it can make.