At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,’ said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “It is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”
                         From Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol 
There was a paper attached to my front door handle the other day. A neighbor on the next street is collecting non-perishables for the local food bank. Last year, he collected almost 900 pounds of food from my neighborhood to donate right before Christmas. This year, when many of us are on tighter budgets, he’s looking to collect over 1,000 pounds.

My first thought was that I hoped I could remember to actually put some food out on my front porch on the collection date. My next thought was to wonder if he could actually get people to donate more when times are so tough.

I think he can. I think that those of use who have had to tighten our budgets but still have food on the table, warm homes, and the ability to put gifts under the tree for our children are even more aware this year than we have been in previous years that we are fortunate. We are aware that there are many who can’t provide for their families the way we are providing for ours. We understand that while we might not have a few extra thousand dollars for a fancy vacation this year, we do have an extra $5 or $10 to buy some food for those who need it.

I know your budget is tight. I know you’ve cut out some of your usual holiday festivities because of the expense. But I know, if you’re reading this on your home computer in a warm room, there is a good possibility you have a few extra dollars to buy food to donate or you have a few cans of something you can pull out of your own pantry. I know you won’t be a Scrooge.

My neighbor is making it very easy for me to donate during this busy holiday season. He’ll be picking a bag of food up from my front porch. If you’d like to donate, but don’t have a neighbor like mine who will pick it up from you and deliver it for you, you can find a place to donate through the following links.

If you find yourself without the ability to donate because you are in need of help yourself, those links will also help you find a food pantry that can give you food. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.