Holiday Challenge – Feed a Family

Seeing that I love to cook, I started watching Rachael Ray a few years ago.

I usually like to see her tips on cooking.  She usually makes me laugh and laugh hard. She’s quirky, like me. (maybe thats why I like her)

Today, she made me cry. I don’t mean a single tear, I mean full on tears running down my face.  I couldn’t even see the tv by the end of the show.

She helped feed an entire community for a YEAR!  A YEAR!

It made me realize how incredibly blessed I am,  how blessed my family and friends are, no matter how tough 2009 has been.

After the show, I sent my husband an email saying that we needed to do something this holiday, because we have been so blessed.

His response: I absolutely agree. It made me smile that there was no hesitation or questioning from him. That is why I am thankful for him.

So I am not sure what, but I am going to do something to make a difference — I can’t feed a town for a year, but I can feed a family for a day.  Our local food bank closed because of too many needy people and not enough food donations. How sad is that.

I know that we are all in tough positions, but I am challenging each one of you this holiday season to help feed a family in need, for just one meal.

A breakfast, lunch or dinner . If each of you who visits this blog gives just one meal, can you imagine how much of an impact that can make! You don’t have to actually cook, (well you can) but take the items to a food pantry.


P.S. If you know of a food bank, I will start a list in this post, so we can find them locally. Please email me or leave them in the comments!

Pennsylvania

City Team in Chester, PA    http://www.cityteam.org/philadelphia/

The Patrician Society in Norristown, PA   http://www.patriciansociety.net/home

State College, Pa. Here is their website http://www.foodbank.centreconnect.org/

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Mercer, Pa and the Prince of Peace in Farrell, Pa.

Greater Berks Food Bank http://www.berksfoodbank.org/

Local Community Action services



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  • Lynda

    OK, I now know that cutting and pasting does not work here, so I’m retying the information that didn’t show up on my last post.

    RE: DONATE YOUR UNWANTED SUPERMARKET TURKEY

    The Center For Food Action – Web site: http://cfanj.org/

    The Center for Good Action Needs Your Help to Get Thanksgiving Dinner on the Table.
    NEEDED: $15-$25 Supermarket Certificates for 12-15 lbs Frozen Turkey

    I hope this worked.

  • Lynda

    RE: FREE TURKEY FROM GROCERY STORE

    To donate your unwanted turkey, please visit: http://cfanj.org/

    The Center for Food Action
    Needs Your Help to Get Thanksgiving Dinner on the Table
    $15 – $25 Supermarket Gift Certificates for 12 lbs – 15 lbs Frozen turkey

  • Theresa

    I am in also. he is a link for a food bank in the South Jersey Area. I had a thought, those of us who shop at Shop Rite or Acme, always earn credits for a free Turkey or Ham, if those of us who could donate those at no cost to you, we could probably feed alot of people. Just a thought…

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  • Renee

    Our family has been so blessed this year that we wanted to help our local community. Our two older sons brought empty containers into their classrooms in Nov. and asked their classmates to bring in one Thanksgiving food item. We actually got to provide 5 families with Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkeys and dessert! We felt good knowing many more people could enjoy the holiday that otherwise wouldn’t had a chance to do it!

  • I have lived my life on a concept-Random acts of kindness! I make dinners for someone whose kids are sick. A 1 family income who just lost there job etc. I keep this up year round. The need does not end with the season and one dinner or more per month is something I know I can keep my word on. Giving is truly the best gift!

  • Anne

    I think that each of your readers, as well as you have true givers’ hearts. I vow to give a meal or two this holiday season.

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  • Rachel

    Chester County Food Bank:
    http://www.chestercountyweb.com/cdps/cditem.cfm?NID=26596

    Also has a link in there for all the food and meal locations in Chester County.

    We are trying to get back to the true meaning of Christmas, maybe we will be serving meals or delivering gifts on Christmas morning.

  • Great post, Shannon!

    I’m sitting here after an early Thanksgiving brunch stuffed full and wanting every last bit of food out of my sight… I think I’ll donate every last box and can in my cupboard. ugh… LOL

    Hope you’re enjoying a great day with your family!

  • Tonya McDonough

    I live between York and Harrisburg. Each has a food bank and I will donate a complete meal to each. Below are their sites. The food bank in Harrisburg delivers food to 27 central PA counties.

    York County Food Bank
    http://www.yorkfoodbank.org/

    Central PA Food Bank (in Harrisburg)
    http://www.centralpafoodbank.org/

    Blessings to All! Happy Thanksgiving! And Thank You Shannon!

  • Skye

    There is a little church on high st in Pottstown, that gets LOTS of homeless people. They dont have many well to do members, so all my extra food goes there. ESPICALLY food that doesnt need to be cooked.

  • Sarah Mikesell

    I am a Girl Scout leader and my troop has “adopted” a family for the holidays. We are collecting food and gifts for family. They are a young couple with a newborn and a one year old son with cancer. The girls are so happy to be helping. One person can truly make a difference, no matter how young or old.

  • Yeah Shannon!!!! Way to take take action from inspiration!! I love Rachael too!

    I think Feeding America is a great resource that is national. They often have the church food pantries listed too.

    Happy Thanksgiving, girl :)

  • Anonymous

    Royersford Elementary School has a Food Drive for a week each year at this time. We have donated over 1,500 items of food to Project Outreach. I will take the challenge and send more food their way. Project Outreach is located in Royersford, PA. The Church of the Epiphany also collects and donates to Project Outreach. The church is located at 209 South 3rd Ave in Royersford, PA 19468. You could also contact 610-948-9655 if you have any questions.

    Shannon, you are truly a thoughtful and kind person and let me just publicly say, that I am honored to be your friend!
    ~Vicki

  • I heard of RR’s incredible donation to that community and it touched my heart as well. I missed the show today though! We donate what we can year round, and also through food drives at my child’s school! Here is a great website that might really be helpful to those wanting to locate a food bank, or even looking for other ways to help!

    http://feedingamerica.org/

    Here’s the link to find a food bank by location:
    http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Hi Miss Shannon,
    This is an awesome challenge! Folks can check their area for their local Community Action service. They hand out food boxes each month as well as helping folks pay their electric and water bills. I believe they take donations as well.
    God bless & Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Karen

    Greater Berks Food Bank
    http://www.berksfoodbank.org/

  • I have volunteered and donated to food pantries for years and even though I lost my job in August I am still able to donate because of sales and coupons. This is a great idea. There is a food pantry in State College, Pa. Here is their website http://www.foodbank.centreconnect.org/

    There is also a food bank through Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Mercer, Pa and the Prince of Peace in Farrell, Pa.

  • It’s not usually much – I just pick up good deals that we aren’t able to use because of our gluten allergy. But, I hope we’re able to bless other families just a little bit. I’m excited about this idea, and planning to share it on Inexpensively for sure!

  • Lauren

    Our family has been giving to our church food pantry, but as someone else mentioned…we usually just give what we can find on super sale with coupons. So thanks for the challenge Shannon…we accept, and will try to give the best of what we have!

  • Sharon,

    Awesome, awesome, awesome. I’m in!!

  • I completely agree! My husband is still out of work due to a neck injury in 2007. That injury was a total blessing in disguise because it changed the way we thought about money (that happens when you don’t have any, lol!) After I started seriously couponing and shopping deals – I realized exactly how far I can stretch a penny! Now, we are able to donate at least one diaper box of food and hba items a month! We were also able to help a family in our neighborhood who had a house fire and lost everything with food and toys for their little boy. It is the best feeling in the world to help provide for others – especially when you have been on in that situation yourself! Thanks for bringing attention to this – I love your page and I’d like to put a link on my page inviting my readers to take the challenge too! Happy Thanksgiving, I hope everyone has a blessed holiday!

    • Shannon

      Lauren,

      Thank you so much for leaving that message. It amazes me how generous people really are. I am so happy that you were able to see through the tough times, even be able to give to others. You are amazing!

  • Karen

    Me too! Excellent idea.

    • Shannon

      Karen,

      May you have a blessed holiday. Thank you for joining in.

  • Meghan

    I am so IN! Awesome idea.

    • Shannon

      Meghan,

      Thank you for joining in. I know we can make a difference!

  • TINA SPENCER

    I think it is wonderful that there are other people out there who think of others and not just themselves. Great idea!! Wish more had the heart!!

    • Shannon

      Tina,

      Thank you for being so generous.

  • Leah

    Count me in on this. I accept the challenge. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

    • Shannon

      Leah,
      Thank you so much for joining me!

  • The show was great and I love your idea. Talk about paying it forward. Count me in!

    • Shannon

      Ashley,

      Thank you for joining me. I know we can do this ..one by one!

  • Natalie

    Shannon,

    Thanks for the post. I am going to challenge my family to donate one meal this holiday!

    • Shannon

      Natalie,

      Thank you for joining me!

  • Angela

    Thanks for the post Shannon! It really makes you feel how fortunate we are sometimes! Happy Holidays to all!

    • Shannon

      Angela,

      Sometimes we take for granted that we have the basics..so many don’t!

      Thank you for joining in!

  • Corrie

    I watched today too.. so inspiring.

    I am taking you up on your challenge.. I will donate a meal for the holidays too!

    • Shannon

      Yeah Corrie!

      Thanks for joining!

  • I love, love, love Rachael Ray! I also love this idea – I try to donate very regularly but it’s mostly just what I find here and there with coupons. I’m going to challenge myself to get 2 of everything I need for our next holiday meal so the food bank will have a complete meal from us.

    • Shannon

      Heather,

      That is so awesome! I am glad you donate regularly it is so hard for so many right now, every little thing counts.

  • Stacey

    I too have had a hard year, but I am thankful that my husband still has his job! I am in — I will donate a meal for a family.

    I am thankful for you Shannon and all you do to help my family each day of the year.

    May God Bless You!

    • Shannon

      Stacey,

      I am thankful for readers like you. Thank you!

  • Jennifer

    I love your heart Shannon! I agree–we are so blessed.

    It is hard to find ways to donate actual meals. I make meals for our church and mother’s club as the need arises, but I donate more to food pantries. You know with all my new coupon skills and all:) These are 2 great ones for your local readers: City Team in Chester, PA (http://www.cityteam.org/philadelphia/) and The Patrician Society in Norristown, PA (http://www.patriciansociety.net/home).

    • Shannon

      Jennifer,

      YOU ROCK!

      Yes I know its hard to donate a meal, but I guess I meant it figuratively, give donations to a food bank for a meal.

  • erica barraza

    i totally agree with u , even though 2009 have been hard for my family we are blessed that my husband hasnt lost his job. Im a stay at home mom of a 3yr old and hoping on going back to work in 2010 to make it easier for my husband. But I agree with you that if my family has had it hard for 2009, there definately others family that have it harder… so im going to join u in feeeding a family a meal.

    • Shannon

      Erica,

      May you have a blessed holiday. Thank you.