Hunger Is Not a Disease

“What’re You Doing?”


“What’re you doing?” she asked. For a minute, I didn’t understand what was happening.  We were all crowded into the pantry.  I was trying to make sure the shoppers got through the tiny shed with all the groceries they needed (and qualified for) without anybody getting squashed.

“What’re you doing?” she asked again.  Then, I realized she was trying to talk with me about something in the midst of this chaos.  Sometimes people do that.  They decide to have a conversation…to get to know the people in the room better possibly.  Often, they want to know more about a product or maybe get a recipe.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, I’m thinking about 2015.  This place has changed so much over this past year.  When I first started coming here, there were only a few of us.  Now look around.  There’re people everywhere.  You open the pantry now every week about 2 hours early.  The boxes are piling up outside.  We’re all so happy you’re here and we’re all so grateful for the food.  I know you can use some more help.

“Can you give anything away?  What do you have to do to get a little freedom?  How can you get a lighter spirit?”

WOW!  Talk about God in the pantry!  I thought a minute as the people moved through the tiny shed choosing a can of soup, a gallon of vinegar, a small bottle of water, a box of crackers.

But, I only needed a minute.  What do I have to do to get a lighter spirit?  Well, in order to lighten the load, I need to give something away…


Every week our pantry is totally overrun with empty boxes at the end of the pantry day.  By 4:00, everyone is tired, grumpy, winded, bushed, fatigued…you name it.  And, what do we look at?

We look at a mountain…an actual mountain of cardboard.

When I thought about giving away those empty boxes, my heart began to sing.  I felt as if I was as light as a feather.

What a wonderful opportunity this shopper had given to me…to everyone at the pantry, actually.  She gave us the gift of vision.  Once a vision exists, reality can follow.  So, I began to visualize a pantry with 0 discarded boxes at the close of the pantry day.

I was energized by this vision.  I realized what needed to happen was the reality of the vision.  The energy needs to follow the intent to create the reality.

So, 2 thoughts came to me.

The first thought was to give away the boxes…1 by 1.  That’s how they do it at the Food Coop in Great Barrington.  When a shopper goes to the Food Coop there, s/he chooses the cardboard boxes needed to carry the groceries out of the building.

So,that’s what we’re doing now.  Beginning just a few minutes after the shopper started talking to me, I asked everyone to take home a box.  That, of course, didn’t get rid of all the boxes.

But, it did make a huge dent in the pile.

I’m also asking everyone I meet at the pantry “Who can haul off the boxes at the end of the pantry?”  I’m sure as sight that someone will surface to take the empty boxes to a dump somewhere.

There is someone out there who wants to volunteer at the pantry, who has a pickup or SUV, and who knows where a convenient transfer station is.

Maybe you know someone.  Maybe you can do this.  If your answer is “yes” please drop by the pantry on Monday afternoon about 4:00 or call 845-399-3967.

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Peace and food for all.

Thurman Greco

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