Our situation is very dicey right now. Even the small amounts of Etsy income I can generate doesn't help enough. Therefore I visit a few different "food pantries" in our area. I am careful to never do this when I do not need it. As soon as finances take an upturn, I stop going, so that others may move up the list.
Food pantries are not grocery stores. For those who have been blessed by never having had to use them, here is a fact or two. Primarily, you get whatever they get. Often they received their stock from the Three Square organization. Sometimes it is from food drives they sponsor. Other times they partner with a market or two to pick up their day-old and expiring products. When you are in need, products that have expired are not something to worry about. Most times, non-perishables are still fine a few months after the date. A year after the date, well, that's a different matter.
Anyhow, the thing to remember is that you get what they give you. Humans being human, we all have our preferences. Even when we are in dire need, it is often hard to make ourselves eat something we really do not like.
In our senior mobile home community, there are a dozen or two folks who visit these places. I also have two friends I've met on Freecycle who are in the same food-pantry boat. We sort of trade and swap items we don't like with each other, and we often get things we do like.
So, it goes like this. One of us ends up with extra bags of dry milk and elbow macaroni, and the husband doesn't like canned peas. They drop that stuff off to me and I give them some things I have plenty of right now and which I know they like. We pass things along to each other. The things that we all have too much of, we leave on tables in our Clubhouse or in our Mailroom, for others in here to enjoy and use.
I even have two friends outside of the park who gain from this. One is a single mom raising a teen daughter, and another has a disabled young adult daughter.
What amazes me is that the folks who pass things to me could easily just throw it away. Nobody would know. But instead they share it with others.
I just love this and I love the big hearts of my financially-challenged friends.
Lord Jesus, thank you for all the wonderful and generous folks you have placed on my life's path. Bless them abundantly, please, and keep them in your heart always.