How much is bounty worth to you?
Here in America we think of food as being bountiful. If we want food, we get it. We go to the grocery store, a fast food joint, a restaurant, or just go home and raid our cupboards. We have food at any time of day. When I go to the grocery store I am struck by the BOUNTY we have – a total abundance of food just waiting to be purchased and consumed at our convenience. We have so much food that 40% of it is thrown away. Food is a great source of comfort, pleasure, and bonding for people, not to mention an answer to a basic need for nutrition and sustenance. I personally have all my meals for the week planned out and ingredients purchased. Most of the time I don’t think about it beyond the budgeting aspect, and begrudging the fact that I have to cook. Poor me.
Take this freedom away from me, and I would be lost. I would feel out of control, empty, and maybe even hopeless. I can tell you that if I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from, I’d be thinking of nothing else. Forget concentrating at work or at school – I’d be desperate to know, what am I going to EAT, and how am I going to get it? Even worse – how will I find food for my two children?
Hunger also abounds in our country and our state. It happens in my neighborhood. It happens in my kids’ schools. It’s too easy for me to say, “I’m so sad for people who don’t have food” and wander over to my pantry where I’ll mentally make a note, I need to buy more pita chips because I’m about to eat the last of them.
In the month of November I’m making Bounty Jars for me and a few families who want to stop and recognize the abundance we have. Every day we will put at least $1 in a jar labeled with Denver Food Rescue’s logo and say, we are so grateful we have meals today. We’ll leave the jars in a central place so they will not be forgotten. We will teach our kids about families who don’t have food on cold nights. We will make a commitment to share our own bounty with those who need it. We know that for every dollar we put in the jar, Denver Food Rescue will be ultimately putting food on the table for a family in Denver with some of that 40% food that we didn’t need.
Some days it may be more than $1. I may go to the grocery store and be humbled by how easy it was for me to get there, which may prompt me to put in $5 that day. I may use King Soopers’ Click List service and say, if it’s worth $5 for strangers to bring my groceries out to my car for me, it’s worth $5 to me to give to a family who doesn’t have groceries. It isn’t about the amount; it’s about being intentional about being grateful. It’s about asking myself, what is bounty really WORTH to me? It’s worth at least $30 for a month, and much more.
We can all SAY we care about people experiencing hunger, and we can all SAY we are grateful, but in the season of bounty it’s time to put our money where our mouths are – literally. It’s time to step up for the families in Denver who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and make a choice every day for one month to realize the reality of hunger in our communities.
How much is bounty worth to you? Join me in filling our Bounty Jars as we fill our bellies.
I wish you a wonderful season of gathering with loved ones and enjoying the bounty of this giving season.
– Stephanie Zavislan, DFR Leadership Circle Member