Food is an important part of my life. I cook and create meals multiple times daily. I browse farmers’ markets and grocery stores for fun. I enjoy long restaurant meals with my family. I chat about recipes with my mom over the phone. I write about it in this blog.
I don’t have the greatest history with food. Though I was never deprived of a single want growing up, I turned down much of the food placed in front of me, due mostly to lack of interest. Later on, I began to make the unfortunate association of food with guilt, learning to resent it instead of appreciate it.
I have had a varied, consistently developing relationship with food, culminating in where I am today. Now, I have (mostly) made peace with food. I savor produce in nearly unlimited capacities; I steer away from processed foods whose ingredients I can’t understand. I am content with the foods I opt to eat and to not eat; I am increasingly confident in defending my choices. Basically, I enjoy the foods I crave in quantities I desire.
Talk about taking something ridiculously for granted.
Recently, Rose brought to my attention a program entitled, “Blog it Forward to Fight Hunger.” The initiative is part of ShopRite supermarkets’ Partners in Caring, an organization devoted to fighting hunger in the United States.
The program tell us, “More than 36 million Americans suffer from food insecurity” – a state where “you are unsure when or what your next meal will be.” That’s eleven percent of the population. Quite a number of people.
A single dollar can purchase ten pounds of food from a food bank. Since its conception a decade ago, ShopRite Partners in Caring has donated 20 million dollars to the fight against hunger. On the flip side, the diet industry rakes in 40 billion dollars in one year alone. Imagine what could be done with that money if we all threw away the bathroom scale and put those dollars to another use.
I’m a firm believer that change begins with small steps. The Blog it Forward program has a similar philosophy:
For each of the first 30 comments on this post, ShopRite will donate a box of cereal to a local food bank. Whether you are a regular commenter, a lurker, or just passing through, please leave a comment! Tell me if you take food for granted, and perhaps what each of us can do to change that.