New Perspectives: Help lighten the load – by Rev. Heather McCarrel

Photo by Cottonbro Studio/Pexels

Have you been to the grocery store lately?  On Monday I took time to stock up our supplies and was left speechless!  To save on time I had gone to the store closest to my home where I discovered orange juice at a whopping $8.59 a jug and white bread at nearly $6.00 a loaf.

Needless to say, I quickly returned to my car and drove across town to a more economical store.  As empty nesters my husband and I do not spend nearly as much as we used to at the grocery store.  Nonetheless, after years of penny pinching while raising our children habits don’t change. If I can get the same juice for $5.00 less only 10 minutes away, I will drive 10 minutes.

However, even at the economical store the prices were startling. Bread, meat and even a can of soup have gone up more quickly than ever in my 55 years of living. How are young families coping?  I recall when my 3 children were teenagers we went through a loaf of bread daily not to mention cereal, milk and lunch supplies.  But it isn’t just the young families struggling; many seniors are left wondering how they will manage with such high prices.

On October 27th, 2022 the Toronto Starr reported that Food bank usage across Canada hit an all-time high, nearly 1.5 million visits in one month alone.

What can we do?

If you are able please consider donating to your local Foodbank.  Any donation is appreciated: a can of soup, a jar of peanut butter, a bag of pasta, whatever you can spare.  What is most helpful, however, are cash donations.  With money to spend those managing the Foodbanks can buy in bulk what is most needed.

If you are part of a faith community why not have some fun with a Food Drive Challenge?  At one church we had a month long peanut butter challenge.  The challenge was between smooth or crunchy peanut butter, the one with the most donations won.  The Crunchies won!  At another church one of the teens decided to build a wall against hunger.  Enough canned food was donated to erect a wall that took up half of the front of the sanctuary!  There are many fun ways to help others.

Perhaps another way to make change in the lives of others is by offering to volunteer at your local Foodbank.

As Charles Dickens wrote in his book Doctor Marigold, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

May we all consider ways to lighten each other’s burdens,