Thursday, December 6, 2007

Food for the hungry

My friend Megan posted a challenging post on her blog a few days ago. It turns out that Megan read an interesting article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the struggles that many food banks and food pantries face around this time of year: they simply run out of food, and are forced to limit their services or close doors altogether.

The article points to the unexpected downside of our technological advances: the accuracy of inventory systems in grocery stores means that stores seldom over-purchase, and food packagers don't over-produce, in the quantities that they used to. The net result is that food banks and food pantries don't have the supply of food from the grocery stores and food packagers that they used to. As a result, they run out of inventory themselves.

Megan asks a hard question: what is their personal family responsibility for this problem? I love this question, as it reveals Megan's faith as real and practicable. I also love it because it forces me to consider this for myself, and my family.

In her post, Megan invites interaction about this subject, and I wanted to bring that discussion here, as well. I've also invited my friend Russell Smith to join the conversation. I'd like to work together toward some real answers to this problem-- something that we (as a community) can put into practice on a regular basis.

What do you think? We have a food pantry right here, through Fayette Cares-- my guess is that they are facing the same struggle. How can we answer? What should our personal responsibility in this problem be?

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