Home > The Power of Community

The Power of Community

May 22nd, 2022 at 04:36 pm

Last Friday our senior center received an unexpected donation of USDA food (produce) boxes and gallons of milk from a nearby food bank.  That food bank had a very large delivery of these items and after their own food distribution still had quite a few left and could not store them. They reached out to local churches and other food banks as well as our senior center to see if we were able to help distribute them to the community. Yes! 


I contacted my 5 families that don’t have transportation that I usually deliver to once a month and all 5 were interested, and I picked up another 6 families from another “route” because their regular volunteer who delivers to them was out of town. Everyone is in about a 10-mile radius, so it was an easy delivery.  


We also put the word out to our members to stop by the senior center to pick up.


Inside each produce box was a 5lb. bag of russet potatoes, 2 mini, organic watermelons, a small bag of yellow onions, and a bunch of loose sweet potatoes and carrots! And separately, the gallon of milk. It’s wonderful to be able to deliver, and receive, healthy produce.  


I was really impressed with the power of the community. Because the food bank, churches and our senior center were easily able to coordinate this, a whole lot of food that might have gone to waste was distributed. Our county councilman has been instrumental in bringing resources together, and we have a very strong volunteer base. In a world where so much is going wrong, it restores my faith in basic human kindness to see this kind of effort in action. There are some very good people out there. I know I post a lot about food on here, but the volunteer aspect of this is so important to me. There are people out there who are really hurting and need help. If you are reading this, and you are one of them, please don’t be embarrassed to reach out for help.


So now, I will be prepping and cooking and freezing a whole bunch of great healthy food! Those watermelons are absolutely delicious. I plan to blanch and freeze some of the carrots (there were so many) and plan to make some sweet potato fries and potato and onion pancakes with the russets. I was really happy to receive some onions as I was totally out. I was also out of milk and needed some for a few recipes I had been planning.  


This morning I went to CVS to stock back up on TP. I had a lot of extrabucks, my $10 carepass bucks and some digital coupons. I purchased 2, 12 packs of Scott TP, 2, 12 packs of Charmin TP (the mega rolls) and a 12-count pack of Tide pods. After all deductions I paid $16.47 (with tax) out of pocket. But I received $15 of extrabucks back to use on a future purchase. According to my receipt this was a 76% savings. 


Yesterday evening I went over to my brothers for dinner, we had burgers and dogs on the grill. He just found out that he will need hip replacement surgery very soon, probably right after 4th of July, so we needed to discuss how I can help him during his recovery. His wife is mostly in a wheelchair now, and his son is partially disabled from a stroke so this will be challenging. 

I also had lunch with a few friends last week, it was nice to catch up!


We are having a heatwave here in Maryland, in the mid 90’s, so I had to turn on the central air. I keep it at 77 during the day, and 75 at night and use a fan and so far, this feels comfortable. We will see how high my utility bill goes!

4 Responses to “The Power of Community”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Your story about the extra food, the delivery, and how it all worked out was heartwarming! As you said, with so much negative news, it was most certainly a pleasure to read how so many worked together. You are a good person to make those deliveries too to those families! What a blessing you are!

  2. Lots of ideas Says:

    Wink, because of your posts about your Senior Center, I often suggest to others to see what food services their Senior programs might offer - none probably match yours, but every bit helps!

    I also read somewhere a question on when it was ‘ok’ to use foodbanks - like if you had unexpected medical or home repair bills, was it ‘fair’ to get ‘free food’ even if you had an emergency fund - and the consensus was yes - that food banks were funded based on use, and people should use them to help out. I will recommend that to others too.

    You’ve made me aware and I pass it on…so your ripples reach those you don’t even know!

  3. Wink Says:

    Lots of Ideas: The "when is it OK to use a foodbank if you have an emergency fund" question is an interesting one. Everyone's situation is different. I know someone who qualifies to use a food bank (and uses it), who has an emergency fund. Her rent was raised by 30% a month and she is having to use her emergency fund to make up that difference so she can keep a roof over her head. She is doing everything she can, trying to find a cheaper apartment (no luck so far), selling everything she can etc. She already works a full and a part time job. Is it OK for her? People can be really quick to judge, without knowing someone's circumstances. Are there dishonest people who take advantage? Yes, but I would wager it's a small percentage. I have no solution for that. Thanks for being open minded and passing on useful information to those it might help!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I've written and deleted so many answers to this post! All I can say is, kudos to any low-income person using a service of this kind, who ALSO has an emergency fund. An emergency fund is for emergencies, not for daily bread. They are doing the right thing. People who worry about dishonest people using the system are indeed quick to judge, and for the most part don't have a clue about what it is to live on a poverty-level income.

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