A few weeks ago, I encouraged us to consider how we can all be more aware of ways we can help feed people in need. Today I want to share more specifics of what I add to my grocery cart to give away.
Please know that this post is meant to inspire and offer tips and suggestions to get your juices flowing as you consider ways you can help people who might be facing food insecurity or who need love to be shown to them in the form of food. Your spiritual gifts are different than my spiritual gifts, so you may never give away food, but you might fix people’s cars or give people rides or wash people’s laundry or make encouraging phone calls or whatever it is God has you doing because of your gifts!!!
But if you feel called to help people with food needs they might have, here’s a post to share ways that work for me that just might work for you too!
Who I’m Blessed to Share With
First, I’ll tell you about some of the people that I often share food with so you know who I’m thinking of as I’m making grocery purchases for people beyond my family.
- College Students – We feed a large group each Sunday after church for “Sunday Lunch.” I often send leftovers in disposable containers, extra cookies in baggies, slices of quick bread on a paper plate, and fresh fruit for them to have in their dorm rooms.
- Disabled Widows – I’ve met several ladies in town who are on a fixed income for one reason or another. If anything out of the ordinary comes up during the month, sometimes their grocery budget takes a hit. They know to call me if they are running low on groceries (though they don’t always like to ask so I try to check in with them regularly). I take them small bags of staples and sometimes a small loaf of homemade bread or other homemade goodies if I have it.
- Families – There are several families I check in with from time to time to see if they could use a few extra bags or boxes of groceries. Then I go through my freezers and pantry and see what all I’ve been able to stock up on when it was on sale. I put together a variety of staples and even treats if I have them. Sometimes I call on some friends to help me with this, simply because it’s so great to get others involved in the teamwork of loving people.
- Local Mission – We have relationships with the employees at our local Living Water Rescue Mission so I keep in touch with them about their food needs. They feed their residents and anyone who walks through the door three meals each day. Plus they give free food boxes to families who have need. They rely on donations for this, so our family donates when we can. But better yet, we’ve gotten our entire church involved in collecting food when the mission was starting to get really low on supply!
Here’s our Elias standing with our van completely filled with groceries donated by our church members. He helped pick it up and deliver so they took this pic to post on their mission Facebook page.
What I Add to My Grocery Cart to Give Away
What you’ll see below are foods I buy for my family regularly. So I find that it’s easy to buy extra whether we need it or not. This helps with my orgniziation so that I always have food on hand to make simple meals for my family. But it’s also been so nice to have these extras ready to bag up and deliver to others. Here’s what I often “over buy” and share:
- Sale items – especially meat mark-downs because this is such a valued gift I can give families.
- Canned Fruit
- Frozen Veggies
- Applesauce Cups
- Instant Oatmeal Packets
- Fresh Fruit – If there are great deals on fruit I’ll buy several bags and hand them out to whoever God puts on my heart.
- Pasta Sauce
- Granola Bars
- Fun Coffee Creamers – Because the college kids who come over love coffee! We make several pots on Sundays and it’s fun to have different creamers for them to use. I just don’t read the ingredient label. ;)
- Toilet Paper – This sure did get tricky for a while! But it was great to have some extra to share when some of our friends completely ran out!
What ways has God used you to bless others recently?