Do you feel it? The holiday season has officially shifted into high gear. The pressure, the dread, the shopping wrapping unwrapping returning: “The world is too much with us; late and soon, / Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—“ So begins William Wordsworth’s sonnet about how we’ve lost touch with nature. If this was true at the time of its composition (1802), it is even more so today. Just look at the panicked expression on the faces of shoppers crowding the aisles of a department store. Or think of how easy it is to buy gifts from on-line mega retailers without thinking about the underpaid child in some far-off land who worked long hours to make something with a half-life of about ten minutes.
There are alternatives. We can shop locally. Even better, we can make donations to organizations committed to helping others. Here are a few suggestions:
God’s Love We Deliver prepares and delivers nutritional meals to people with life-altering illnesses living in all five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Nassau Counties, and Newark and Hudson County, New Jersey. You can make a donation or shop from the on-line gift shop. I can personally recommend Chuck’s Famous Brownies.
Now in its fifth year, FoodCorps is a nationwide organization that teaches kids about nutrition and real food to help them grow up healthy. FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in communities with limited resources.
Since 1993, Growing Power has worked to provide people in all communities with access to healthy, high-quality, safe, and affordable food. Growing Power began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a place for teens who needed work; it is now a national nonprofit organization that annually produces thousands of pounds of food, employs over 350 teens, trains new farmers, and creates nutrient rich soil from diverted land-fill waste.
Find your local Food Bank and make a donation to help feed the hungry in your own community.
Holiday shopping: Done and done.
Do you have a favorite food or nutrition related organization that needs support? Please use the comment section to add to this list.
Happy holidays to all!