The Bad Husband came home from work quite late this evening and laid some heavy news on me. It seems that The East Alabama Food Bank is down to a month’s worth of food and may not be able to feed families this Christmas.
If you Google “East Alabama Food Bank” all you will get are reports that say, “’I honestly cannot recall a time when the Food Bank needed help more than we do right now,'” “the food bank has less than a month supply of food,” and “it is overwhelming to think about all the families in danger of going hungry,” because “two of the food bank’s largest donors—the Montgomery Area Food Bank and the Atlanta Community Food Bank — have significantly cut back on the amount they give” to the East Alabama Food Bank.
The Bad Husband’s pulling some strings for a fundraiser at work. I just pulled my weight in pantry goods to send with my kids to school in the morning. And I and have already talked with The Bad Husband about Celestial Earth Grove (our “bad” grove) organizing an adopt-a-family for Yule/Christmas. It was my gut instinct. These are my neighbors.
I know I can’t save the world, but there has to be more we can do, right? (Anyone who knows other ways to help in moments like this–post a comment.)
The gathering I am going to in Birmingham this weekend is having a food drive, the Pagan Pride Day organizers held a food drive, my university is holding one of the state’s biggest food drives (“Beat Bama” capitalizes on the rivalry between Alabama’s state universities to the benefit of two food banks), and it seems like every grocery store has a food barrel at the door. Folks just are not able to give as much as they once could.
Know what that means? Those of us who are comfortable need to ante-up. I mean, we’re Pagans and Heathens with Pagan and Heathen ethics, right? Community.
I’m starting with me.
Thanks to all of you who have been able to express your gratitude by popping some pennies in my tip cauldron–and thanks to those of you who express yourself in other ways; that means just as much to me, believe it or not. I plan to donate every red-cent of my tips and all donations made to Open Path and Celestial Earth made between October 14th and November 21st to the East Alabama Food Bank. I know I can’t say that this is an official drive without their permission but that’s the plan. (I’m avoiding the news this election season, so I just found out; they are closed until morning.)
I encourage you to check the supplies at your own community’s food bank first. If they need extra help, post a comment here so that other readers in you area know where to send help. (And by all means, if you need help–let your fellow-Pagans know. We might not be able to help, but we might be able to point you to a resource or three.) If your community’s food bank is in the black, consider donating to The East Alabama Food Bank or one of the food banks mentioned in the comments area (if any). Keep in mind that monetary donations are more helpful to all food banks–they can get supplies much cheaper than we can at a standard grocer. If you choose to do this, you can do do it on your own online or by mail:
Food Bank of East Alabama
375 Industry Drive
Auburn, Alabama 36832
Or, you can plop some loose change in the tip cauldron (@WordPress for those of you reading @Tumblr)–let me know if you want your name to appear on the donation letter. I’ll add what the family budget and the grove budget can muster. I invite any and all Pagan groups in Alabama–specifically East Alabama–to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, my regular email (most of you have it), or on Facebook to make a joint effort of this. We can do more together than we can separately.
Thanks for listening,
 If you’ve read any of my personal stories, you know I live by Matthew 25:35-40: “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. . . . Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Yes, it’s a Christian parable, but in the beginning, our ethos weren’t all that far apart.