Today we are so grateful to our neighborhood for opening their hearts and participating in our Holiday Food Drive. “Healthy Breakfast Foods” was the theme of the drive, and for the last week, neighbors and friends have been dropping off various cereals and oatmeal, granola bars and coffee, tea and peanut butter. All to fill the shelves of the West Hartford Food Pantry. As we organized the food before delivering it today, we counted 12 full bags, and since then two more have been added. What wonderful and generous neighbors we have!
As the girls carried in bag after bag of groceries into the town hall lobby this afternoon, they were greeted with a big smile by Suzanne Oslander, from the town’s Department of Human and Leisure Services. Suzanne was happy to see the girls, and thanked them for hosting the drive, which will benefit residents in town. I had spoken with her earlier in the day, and she shared with me how much the pantry relies on the community’s help throughout the year to keep the pantry stocked for residents in need.
Hunger and homelessness is an on-going conversation my husband and I continue to have with the girls. We live in wonderful and beautiful town, and have much to be thankful for, we tell them. We have family, a warm roof over our heads, food in our refrigerator, and clothes in our closets. We are healthy and have doctors who we can go to when we don’t feel well. We have everything we need and more, I tell them, and some do not. It’s not easy to answer the “why” of a 6 year old… why do some people have food and some don’t? Or why do some people sleep outside on a park bench? I tell her how sad it is for them, and that’s why it’s so very important for us to give back and help these families.
I told the girls this morning how proud I was of both of them… not only for thinking of what items we should collect for the food drive, or for going door to door to pass out the flyers… but for wanting to help others in the first place.
Isn’t that what the Christmas spirit is all about?
How to Give Back: To organize a food drive in your town contact your local food pantry. For West Hartford families, contact Suzanne Oslander in the town's Department of Human and Leisure Services at (860) 561-7580 or email SuzanneO@westhartford.org.