The Home Van food pantry got off to a bumpy start because I was very low energy, and a lot of other things were going on, but we are now finding our stride, due in no small part to the fact that
Liz McCulloch is now working the Wednesday afternoon food pantry with me. Liz brings a lot of expertise and good energy to any project she is involved in. She deals with over-the-counter medications, candles, cold drinks and, of course, talking to people. In any form of outreach, talking to people is an important part of it. You make friends with your customers and have a chance to be involved in their lives in a positive way, as you discover small needs - huge and unobtainable to them - that you can fulfill. I pack the bags. I know the customers - who's diabetic, who's recovering from surgery, food allergies - that sort of thing. Of course Liz is learning all that as well, so our roles are not cast in concrete.
A lot of our old guys love, love, love Vienna sausages - the more little cans you give them, the happier they are, and they do at least have protein. So we will always feature God's lowly Vienna sausage at the Home Van. However, I am finding great joy in trying to give out the best possible food we can - both in terms of nutrition and appeal, with the help of the food bank and our donators. Almost every week we have fresh fruit, whole grain breads, cheese, chunky soups loaded with vegetables, Chef Boy Ardee, sardines (a healthy fish since they are small and contain little if any mercury), and protein shakes. Lately we have been very low on peanut butter, so peanut butter (small jars, smooth not chunky) will be greatly appreciated. We can also use more diabetic foods.
Our other major needs are for batteries (double and triple A's and D's), and bug spray. We hardly ever get donations of bug spray, due to the expense involved. I understand that. On the other hand, mosquitos are driving people stark, raving mad. The first two people to bring me an entire box of bug spray will receive in return a painting by me.
To arrange to drop off donations call me at 352-372-4825. Financial donations should be made out to Citizens for Social Justice and mailed to 307 SE 6th St., G'ville 32601. Online donations can be made by going to: http://homevan.blogspot.com/
love and peace to everyone,