One of my favorite mottoes is a quote by the famous Benjamin Franklin:
“Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect. Procrastinating is one of the hardest personal issues I’m teaching myself out of. I tend to do it more when it’s something I dread- but it doesn’t just apply to those nagging daily chores or activities we hate. It can also influence us to put off doing things that are really important for people in need, and when we procrastinate, we often don’t do our best.
As I was grocery shopping this past week, buying cans of beans for my Po’Boy Veggie & Bean Soup,I kept thinking about the price of canned goods, and how easy it would be to buy a can or 2 extra each trip without putting a huge dent in the grocery budget. Really, they’re not that expensive, especially if you buy store-brand canned goods. Around here, they tend to be around $.79 or slightly higher. It’s January right now, give it about 11 months and we’ll start to see a ton of calls-to-action to the public for canned food drives around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now, if we all PROCRASTINATE until then, it might be pretty expensive to buy a large quantity in one go…and therefore, we may not buy as much as we could to help those in need.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40
Here’s my challenge to you: set up a tub or recycle an old box in your house. Set it aside as your “food pantry” box, and EVERY TIME you go grocery shopping this year, buy an extra canned good, or 2, or 3. And those of you on tight budgets- I completely understand. My husband and I have been on a tight budget for about 2 years now working to pay off debt, but ultimately most of us are still much better off and ABLE to buy a few cans here and there compared to those who will need it throughout the year. But think, it would be like giving up 1, MAYBE 2 cups of coffee out each month…or instead of buying that snack you’re craving because you forgot to eat before grocery shopping, buy a non-perishable for someone more hungry than you. And just think, if you go shopping 3 times per month, that will end up being 36 cans. Or…if you bought 2 cans per trip (using the same number trips) 72 cans. That’s A LOT of food…and it could help A LOT of people if A LOT of us do it!
Try the challenge this year. Send in or share on social media, your pics of your food pantry box as it is fills up throughout the year, and tag your photos with the hashtag #foodpantrychallenge. Then, when it’s needed (during times of local emergency, you meet someone in need, or around the holidays) it’ll be there and it won’t be such a burden on your monthly grocery budget to give, or give more.
I’m excited to see your boxes fill up!
Be kind. Be generous. Be blessed- in Christ.