You Give And You Will Get

Maybe You Didn't Think About These Items
As you pick up things for our food drive, here are some items that you may not have considered.  Per a recent survey on of food bank volunteers, these items are really appreciated by recipients:
1. Spices Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.
2. Feminine Products Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.

3. Chocolate People don't need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials.
4. Toiletries Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. Food stamps often don't cover these.
5. Canned meats and jerky This isn't true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein.
6. Crackers and tortillas They don't spoil and everybody likes them.7. Baby toiletries Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.
8. Soup packets Hearty soup is a complete meal.
9. Socks. From a former homeless person: "Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.
"10. Canned fruit other than pineapple. Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.

Fun with the Family
Bundle up after dinner and head outside to roast some marshmallows, drink cocoa and make s'mores in your fire pit or fire bowl.  Most of us have one---and rarely use it.  This weekend gather your family up after dinner and have some fun around the fire pit rather than just watch the TV.  Let conversations develop that would not otherwise or pick a book (a ghost story?) that would be fun to read while keeping warm and watching the flames.