Friday, November 18, 2011

Dude, Where's the Food?

Day 47
The families at Montgomery Elementary are a kind and charitable bunch.

Hundreds of meals will be provided through the generous donations from this year’s annual Thanksgiving food drive. 

The school secretaries call down each grade to the cafeteria.  The kids walk the maze of tables and sort their cans placing items next to their designated sign.  Pasta.  Tuna.  Bread.  Fruit.  Vegetables. Soup.  All things most families in our school open their pantry to find everyday. 

“Dude, that is A LOT of food,” says one third grader.  (For those unfamiliar with the 9-year-old vernacular, “dude” interchanges seamlessly with a variety of words and is used as a general expression for shock, surprise, disappointment or excitement.  It covers all the bases.)  

He’s right.  There is A LOT of food. 

Some families give stuffing. Others send in pumpkin and cans of cranberry sauce.  An assortment of canned vegetables, tuna and fruit cover three rows of cafeteria tables.   

A few moms and I are on hand to help package together supplies to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal for seventeen school families.  We load up the boxes with extra servings of macaroni and cheese and other kid staples for those extra meals families will need to prepare over the holiday weekend.  

Leftover food will be picked up on Monday morning by a local service organization who will distribute it to Cincinnati families in need. 

I think of the three boxes of food piled in the back of my MDX ready to be driven down to the FreeStore food bank this weekend and wish the boys and I would have found the time to make another lap of the neighborhood.  People happily donated when we knocked on their door and asked for contributions. 

I have a million reasons why the kids and I didn’t.  Basketball practice.  Piano lessons.  Cub Scouts.  All of them reasonable and completely valid yet it always seems that we find time if we really want to. 

I can guarantee if I had a gift card for a hot stone massage that expired this week I would have found an hour to fit it in.  I don’t like what that says about me. 

Seriously, dude, what does that say about me?! 

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