The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Paying It Forward

Saturday Junior and I took a quick trip to the grocery store to get our basic stuff, not specifically for turkey day supplies because (and here is what I am thankful for) my mom “does” Thanksgiving dinner. We will make brownies and green bean casserole and a rice dish, but that is nothing compared to the pies and the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, etc. that she does. Thank you mom! So while in the store, I told him we needed to buy items to bring to the food pantry for the people who cannot afford to go shopping for a Thanksgiving meal. We filled a section of the cart with items – boxes of stuffing stuffing, jars of gravy, cranberry sauce, cooking oil, veggies, broth and something else I know I’m forgetting. I didn’t even bother counting up how much was there.

When we got home, we pulled all those items out and put them in a large shopping bag – you know, the kind you get from Macy’s with the handles? I was afraid the handles were going to break. Then we drove the bag over to Ginny’s on Mechanic Street in Leominster. Ginny White is a Saint, I tell you, and Ginny’s Food Pantry (and the thrift shop) are my charity of choice, especially because it goes right back into my own community. She was more than happy to take our bag of supplies (and $20 cash I gave her to go toward turkey or whatever they were short on). She told me that they were handing out the food baskets, which were actually cardboard boxes, some of which already lined one wall, Sunday and Monday. So hopefully our donation helped out. And we will do it again in a couple of weeks. I know that this is the time of year that people actually think about donating, which is great, but hunger happens 365 days a year, so my goal is that we will make this a once a month activity for the whole year. I also like to donate what I consider “staples” that are a little pricey, but necessary for cooking. I like to donate cooking oil, spices, mayonnaise, ketchup, things like that. I also like to donate toiletries, detergent, etc. which is SO expensive but SO necessary. As I said when I ran a toiletry drive at a company I used to work for – if I had to choose between razor blades and deodorant or a jar of peanut butter to feed my kids, the peanut butter would win. But without the razor blades and deodorant, it might be impossible for me to find work so that I can actually afford to keep my family fed. It’s a huge balancing act, and I like to help tip it in someone’s favor.

Anyway, this is just a public service announcement to remind everyone to keep an eye out for your own local food pantry this holiday season.

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  1. Christine

     /  November 20, 2006

    We donated a Thanksgiving basket to our church, and they turned around and brought it to Ginny’s. It was really rewarding and an important thing to do. So I second what Jody’s saying. And Jody, good for you.

  2. Anonymous

     /  November 20, 2006

    I noticed Ginny’s for the first time yesterday on my way home from church (I’m slow to notice things sometimes) and was wondering what kind of place it was. Now I know! I’ve also been wondering what the best place is to make such a donation around here. Now I know that too! I’ll stop by Ginny’s with some goodies soon. Thanks for the public service announcement 🙂

  3. Jerry

     /  November 20, 2006

    Ginny’s is super.. Also BJ’s has a basket to leave food items as well
    as most catholic churches. You can also give to Our Father’s House in Fitchburg. I used to be active there before Ginny’s was around.. CUL

  4. Anonymous

     /  November 22, 2006

    It is very honorable and thoughtful that you do this year-round and with attention to harder-to-get items.

    As a kosher ovo-lacto vegetarian with health problems, it was very difficult to obtain healthful, suitable food when I was making use of food pantries and on food stamps.

    And, of course, food stamps could not be used for bathroom and household supplies and other such personal care products.

    Thank you for both doing what you describe and for describing it to encourage others.

  5. Brian Jones

     /  November 22, 2006

    Hey why not check in for a sec?

    http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7005599660

    That wasn’t your turkey fryer, was it?

  6. Jody

     /  November 22, 2006

    Howdy Brian! Interestingly, Leominster Christine’s husband deep fried a turkey earlier this week, but I have never even tasted fried turkey. That explosion and fire are about an hour and a half away from where I live, so no, I am safe and sound. Now we do have North Shore folks who read regularly who should check in. I can’t remember if they are in Danvers, though. Beth?

  7. Jody

     /  November 22, 2006

    p.s. Anonymous, thanks for speaking up. It’s always good to hear from someone who knows where the needs are to help us figure out what the best items to donate are. I will try to make it a Big DumpTruck community effort and post “items of the month” for other people to collect for their own communities.

  8. Anonymous

     /  November 23, 2006

    We shall be taking a few goods round to our ‘town hall’ at the end of the month, every community does a collection of non perishable goods that can be distributed throughout the year.