Here’s a last-minute gift idea that nobody will return: food.
Instead of unearthing exactly the right present for someone who probably doesn’t need it (or even want it), you can use that money to help ease a serious crisis now facing the nation’s food banks. And you don’t have to find a parking space, or know the right size. Food fits all families.
That’s what we’re doing this year, and we were persuaded by some stunning statistics. Over the next few weeks, the nation’s feeding services are facing a shortfall of almost 12 million meals, according to Second Harvest, a national network of more than 200 food banks.
Huge companies like Wal-Mart and Kroger have stepped in, donating millions of pounds of food this week, but individual contributions are still desperately needed. As Vicki Escarra, president of Second Harvest, put it: “The demand for help is unprecedented. Food banks across the country are being forced to give people less, and worse, even turn people away as they run out of food.”
This crisis has many causes, starting with a sharp rise in needy families, 20 percent or more in some places. For these families, fuel costs are staggering, wages are stagnating, homes and health insurance are slipping away.