It's for obvious reasons. Thanksgiving, of all of the holidays, is traditionally about the food and those of us who can afford a turkey and all of the fixings joke easily about our own gluttony.
Most of us, though, are aware that we are the lucky ones, and for the next month or so we will be compelled to donate some canned goods to a local food drive or help a local civic organization hand out turkeys to needy families. But come January, most of us will return to our busy lives, but the hungry will still be hungry.
It's easy to understand. During the holiday season, food drives are ubiquitous at our local supermarket, bank, or child's school, and it's easy to give. In June, it takes a little more effort to help those in need.
But the Food Bank for New York City is making it easier. They have a launched an online program – Virtual Food Drive - in connection with Peapod by Stop & Shop, a food delivery service. You can donate and shop online, and then the food is delivered to a Food Bank site, where it is then distributed to those in need.
This program has several benefits.
First, it cuts down on the expense of picking up the food from local drop sites. This means the money you donate buys more food.
Second, since the food is delivered directly to Food Bank sites and then immediately distributed, it means you can donate fresher items such as produce and eggs, instead of just the traditional canned and dry goods. The nutritional options are far greater.
And with the online method, you can invite friends and family members to join you and donate. Companies can also set up donor pages and have employees in different department compete to see who can donate the most. And with reports online, you'll be able to track exactly how your money and food is being used, instead of just dropping a can of corn in a cardboard box and walking away.
With the government increasingly cutting back on programs that help the hungry, the statistics about the number of New Yorkers who are “food insecure” have become truly alarming.
Nobody in New York City – kids especially – should go hungry. Now you have an easy way to help. Go to foodbanknyc.org now to set up your virtual food drive.