For the past 7 years, I have been going to my local Whole Foods every Sunday morning to pick up 5-6 shopping carts brimming with good-quality/mostly organic loaves of bread, biscuits, baguettes muffins, bagels and pastries that would otherwise be thrown away. I drive the goods over to a local shelter, where it is distributed to women and their families.
Whole Foods, along with other stores/bakeries/etc, throw away mostly organic, day-old bread that hasn’t been purchased the day before. Unless this bread — which amounts to large quantities daily — is picked up by either an individual or organization, it goes into the trash.
There is so much hunger here in this country—far more than many would suspect. Many people go to bed hungry. Here is a situation where high quality food resources are being wasted on a daily basis. We can change this. For those of you who are blessed to own a car and can spare about 1 hour a week, here’s how you can help to be a part of the solution:
Contact your local market/bakery/etc. and ask to speak with the head of the Baked Good Department. Ask them if they throw bread away. Typically, the answer is yes, and there are organizations that come to pick up the excess on some days, but not on others. Those are the days when bread is thrown away. Explain to the person at the store that you’d like to bring the bread to your local shelter. Most store employees are relieved to know that the goods won’t be wasted.
Contact your local shelter(s) and find out if they supply meals. Most places that do are happy to receive extra baked goods. Set up a time with the store to pick up the bread. It’s important to be punctual with this, as most stores will throw the goods away if people don’t show up within the designated time frame. Bring the bread to your local shelter and share the Love!
It takes very little effort to set this up, and I’ve found that wonderful relationships develop as a result. The process is uplifting for everyone involved—at both the stores as well as shelters. The seva gives everyone the experience of working together towards a Higher Good.
- Adarsa Mendelson
~ Om Amriteshwaryai Namaha ~