Hunger in America

Have you read The Hunger Games trilogy? If not, do. It is incredibly creative, entertaining reading that I thoroughly enjoyed. That’s right. I just said I enjoyed a series of books that were mass produced and loved. In fact, as far as Summer 2011 books go, these are at the top of my recommendation list.

It’s crazy. Literary times, they be a changin’.

Speaking of hunger, I have been hanging around a local food bank lately helping out where I can. This week, I spent a couple hours taking portraits of recipients and food, to later be used in marketing materials. A few things I’ve learned, for those who’d consider giving to a food bank:

1. Did you know food banks have incredible buying power? That for $1 donated, they can buy 10 pounds of food on the commodity markets? So, if you are interested in donating, instead of going to the grocery, consider instead writing a check.

2. There are non-grocery related items food banks always need — like grocery bags and totes. They can also use toiletries. Not all food banks distribute these, but the ones here in Denver are always asking for toilet paper and small bottles of shampoo and soap too.

3. Pets need food too. Many American families now visiting food banks were otherwise employed and doing just fine a few months ago. Their pets, in turn, were also eating well. Now with the worst unemployment since World War II, pets are among all family members feeling the pinch. Dog and cat food is in great need.

Otherwise, volunteering with these folks is one of the most humbling, gratifying times of my life. I’m getting way more out of it than I’m able to give. Finding such an organization I can work for makes me feel a part of this Denver community.