November 22, 2018 at 12:41 am
I offer blessings for the volunteers in the food pantry and for everyone I see shopping each week.
The food available in the pantry reminds me that we all live in the abundance of this time and place.
I am thankful for the clothes on my back, for my health.
And, I’m thankful for the opportunity to celebrate this historic day with people of all languages and faiths.
I’m honored to live in this great country whose landscape is vast and whose population come from the world over.
This Thanksgiving Day is a time to welcome the coming new year with thoughts and prayers of hope and new beginnings for the coming year.
May the energy of this special day gather new energy for peace.
Finally, I’m grateful to be here, to be connected to this pantry. I appreciate the support I’ve received from the people I’ve come to know here.
I look forward to the blessings which I feel will be coming my way in the future.
I’m hopeful about the opportunities I see coming my way in the near future as 2019 becomes a reality.
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November 19, 2018 at 1:09 am
“Homeless is not a category of people. It’s just a situation that happens. It can happen to anyone.” – Salvador Altimarano-Segura
This article actually has eleven suggestions. There are many things we can all do for the homeless if we will open our hearts and minds to the many opportunities. Hopefully this list will inspire you!
ENCOURAGE affordable housing. Is someone in your area trying to build affordable housing? Support this effort. Fewer people would be homeless if more affordable housing were available.
DO YOU KNOW someone with a tight budget? Encourage him/her to visit a pantry regularly.
BARTER. As fewer and fewer people have money, barter is a good way to go.
SUPPORT BUSINESSES that treat their employees fairly. This means giving your business to companies that don’t short shift their workers, refuse to report their earnings to the IRS to avoid paying deductions, and/or withhold wages.
WORK TO SEE that schools in your area offer free universal school breakfasts and lunches for all.
BACKPACK PROGRAMS assure that children have food to eat over the weekend. Does your neighborhood school have one? If not, set one up.
DOES YOUR CHURCH, SYNAGOGUE, OR TEMPLE have a food pantry? Set one up.
GIVE GIFT CARDS FOR FOOD, GASOLINE (if they drive) or PHONE MINUTES. These cards are perfect gifts for someone on a tight budget. These cards are also perfect to be used for donations to a pantry or shelter, or soup kitchen.
OPEN A FOOD PANTRY in a college or trade school in your area. People don’t realize that homelessness is an issue with students.
GIVE A LITTLE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR by regularly donating food, money or gas cards to a homeless friendly pantry in your area.
TEACH! Do you have a skill to share? Contact a local shelter and offer to give classes.
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Woodstock, New YOrk
November 14, 2018 at 12:27 am
DONATE FOOD TO A FOOD PANTRY
When you purchase groceries, buy a few extra jars or cans of food and take them to your neighborhood food pantry.
Peanut butter is my favorite choice. It’s shelf stable so needs no refrigeration. That makes it good for homeless people. It doesn’t spoil quickly so it can be used by a household with one or ten people. It doesn’t require a lot of chewing so it’s good for a person with no teeth. In short, peanut butter is a perfect food choice for a food pantry.
However, if you would rather choose another item, go with whatever you want to give. Whatever you choose, it will be selected by someone shopping in the pantry.
CLEAN OUT YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS
Give the unused items to your local food pantry.
HOST A FOOD DRIVE
Invite your friends and neighbors to help you collect food for your local food pantry.
DONATE CLEAN EGG CARTONS AND REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS TO YOUR FOOD PANTRY.
Food pantries are always in need of shopping bags and egg cartons. Eggs coming to a food pantry usually come in cases – without the cartons.
Shopping bags are not usually found on food pantry shopping lists.
CLEAN OUT THAT CLOSET!
Take your gently used clothing and bedding to a pantry or soup kitchen for distribution. I recently learned that the clothing item most needed in shelters is socks.
I also learned that women’s shelters are always in need of bras.
In the Albany, New York, area, you can send gently used or new women’s bras to:
YWCA – Greater Capitol Region
21 First Street
Troy, New York 12180
CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY.
Invite people to a party and ask them to give donations to a food pantry instead of a gift.
GIVE A LITTLE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
Make a regular donation to a food pantry. This translates to sending a check or gas card every month or quarter.
CONTACT ELECTED OFFICIALS AND PERSONS OF INFLUENCE.
Motivate them to make ending hunger and homelessness a priority. Encourage them to support fair wages and benefits for workers.
READ A BOOK.
“Take This Bread” by Sara Miles, “Under the Overpass” by Mike Yankoski, “I am Your Neighbor” by David R. Brown and Roger Wright, and “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” by Thurman Greco are four books which tell revealing stories about hungry people in America.
START A SCHOOL BACKPACK PROGRAM.
Backpack programs send food home on Friday afternoons to households where children would not otherwise eat over the weekend without the donated foods.
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November 12, 2018 at 11:15 pm
There’s only one more weekend left at Mower’s Meadow Flea Market this year. I’ll be there the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving and then that’ll be it for awhile. I understand the flea market doesn’t open weekends again until May.
Don’t quote me on that. I’m not sure. But, one thing I’m sure about: I plan to be there every weekend next season. The hunger book, the donation jar, and I plan to be at Mower’s Meadow Flea Market next season.
I was at a different spot at the flea market every weekend. And, I really enjoyed being there. The people at the other booths were friendly, open, and interested in my booth. I got many tips and tried them all. It was obvious to everyone that I really didn’t know much about flea market marketing. I still don’t know much but my booth presentation has definitely improved.
Thank you to each and every one who bought copies of “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore”. I doubt if “The Ketchup Sandwich Chronicles” will be available by then but I working on it every day.
The title “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” was named by Cullen Thomas and it was well chosen. Many people who picked up the book on the table were bothered by the title because they didn’t understand it. However, it definitely attracted attention.
For those with questions, the title referred to an “unhoused” congregation serving people outside the sanctuary. And, the food pantry was definitely outside the boundary of the sanctuary. The food pantry was, in fact, in the basement.
This story isn’t about how to fix or save or change a church. Nor is it, really, a story about a church at all. In fact, it’s not a manual about anything. It’s a story about how I discovered hungry people in the basement of the building in a tiny food pantry in the corner room.
A memoir, this story tells the truth as I remember it.
If you haven’t had a chance to read this book, it’ll be available at thurmangreco.com during the winter unless I find an indoor weekend flea market that’s appropriate for a table of books and open on the weekend.
My goal is to offer Reiki therapy and tarot readings in addition to the books at the flea market in the future.
But, whether I offer Reiki and tarot or not, I plan to be at a table selling both “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” and “Healer’s Handbook”. When “Ketchup Sandwich Chronicles” comes out, I’ll add it to the stack!
See you there!
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