Thursday, December 01, 2022

imagine: rice, flour, oil, sugar, and beans

I post some version of this reminder that food banks benefit most from cash donations every year. This is as much for me as for people I know. It's always tempting to add extra peanut butter-beans-cereal to my grocery cart to feed my "larger family."  It's always satisfying to imagine that some other children (and I always imagined they were children) would be able to make a snack out of things I'd picked up. And of course when the kids were younger, it was a tangible way to teach caring. But giving to food banks is not supposed to be about how it makes me feel. 

So I've been good about cash contributions. 

But when The Refugee Development Center in town started taking up in-kind donations for Welcome Boxes, I signed right up to bring rice, flour, oil, sugar, and beans. If I were displaced and in a new place, I imagine I could make something my family might recognize from those supplies. I would want to.

There is a passage in Robert J.C. Young* that always resonates with students--where we're asked to imagine ourselves as refugees, to imagine the break in the daily routines of living... like discussing the day's menu with a neighbor. I think about that passage often. 

Anyway, Nu and I dropped off lots of supplies this evening. I could have easily done it before I picked Nu up from their remedial (whole other story!) class at school. But I kind of liked the idea of doing something together that would get Nu out of their own thoughts and social loops for a while.

* Also, that book is the ONLY time ever where I'm listed right next to Homi Bhabha (in the "Acknowledgements").


Nicole said...

I know cash is the better thing to do, and it is what I do, but when the kids were little we had food bank birthday parties. They had so much stuff, and would have huge parties (when J was in kindergarten we invited his entire class) and so I asked that in lieu of gifts, each child could please bring a donation to the food bank. It was such a great way, as you say, to get kids involved. Cash is kind of boring for kids, but if they can take their favourite cereal to the food bank, well, that's exciting.

I think about you and Nu a lot. I hope you are both okay. xoxoxo

StephLove said...

Thanks for the food bank donation reminder. I gave a lot of money (for me) to political candidates during the midterms and I've been meaning to pivot to local orgs.

Beth did something similar with North, taking them to the animal shelter to donate Xander's unopened food and treats. It got them out of the house, was charitable, and also fun for them to see the kitties.

maya said...

Thank you for the good thoughts for Nu, Nicole and StephLove.

Nicole I kind of wish I had littles just so I could have the birthday party you've described :). It's adorable.

StephLove, your paragraph encapsulates what a difficult year it has been... I'm sorry <3.

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