Think of those in need this Thanksgiving

Published 8:24pm Friday, November 16, 2012

Imagine the following: Heaps of savory, creamy mashed potatoes piled higher than the candles that have been placed on the dining room table. A china gravy boat that’s only used on special occasions is filled with homemade gravy. The crisp brown topping on green bean casserole that hasn’t yet had a serving spoon pierce it’s layers still pulsing with heat bubbles. Columns of steam that waft from yeast rolls that have been carefully placed into a festive breadbasket and placed near the crystal butter dish on the table. A smell engulfs you as you feel a rush of heat, following the oven’s final opening — you’re pulling out a huge turkey that’s been marinating for hours.

Is your mouth watering yet?

As you prepare to sit down and enjoy the feast you’ve prepared, you look around at you’re loved ones who are dressed for the occasion and have traveled long hours to sit at your table. For this, you are truly thankful.

This is the scene many families are preparing to enjoy this week. And without a doubt, after all the traveling, cleaning and cooking, the chefs and their families have done, their eyes will be much larger than their stomachs. They will pile their plates high with decadent trimmings only to realize they’re suddenly full and couldn’t possibly eat another bite.

What happens to the food on their plates? Many times it gets tossed out, and no one thinks much of it. I know this because I have not only witnessed it, but I’ve participated.

This year however, I have a new found appreciation for food — it really is something to be thankful for, and we shouldn’t waste it when there are so many people who will be without.

The Selma Area Food Bank which currently serves as a major food provider to nearly 40 agencies in four counties, has a warehouse full of empty shelves, meaning both the food bank and the agencies they work with are in need of the continued support of the community.

The food bank, its agencies and the people who depend on them for food are a part of our community, a part of our community that needs our help. The food bank is down 20 percent from where they were this time last year.

“To give you perspective,” J.D. Parks, director of the Selma Area Food Bank said. “Last year, year-to-date we distributed 1, 070,000 pounds, roughly, and this year, year-to-date we’ve done 850,000. So we’re more than 400,000 pounds [of food] below [what we distributed] the year before.”

That’s a huge difference, and one that we have the power to help change. So before you think about pilling food on your plate for your Thanksgiving feast only to toss out half of it, think of those who are hungry and in need. Donate to the Selma Area Food Bank today.

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