Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

With the holiday season approaching, it is hard not to think about the traditional meals that accompany them. For me, it’s a no brainer that cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole will make it onto my plate on Thanksgiving Day. For others, Thanksgiving is a time of struggle, hunger, and food insecurity. Did you know that there are more than 40,000 homes in Chester County that are food insecure? This means that the members in 40,000 homes do not have access to food, or have a very hard time getting it.
What can we do to help? We can start local. The Chester County Food Bank recently moved into a new location that is much larger than the last. This is great news but it also means that they need more help! Volunteers can help in several areas: the kitchen, the front desk, taking the trash out, stocking the warehouse, and anything else that you can think of. Take advantage of this opportunity to be a volunteer and help your neighbors. This will look great on a resume as well! Go to http://chestercountyfoodbank.org/donate/volunteers/ to learn how to sign up.
If you are going home for Thanksgiving, many local food pantries ask the community to drop off canned items around the holidays. Think of how canned corn, pumpkin, and cranberry sauce could help a less fortunate family have a special, seasonal Thanksgiving meal.
If you don’t have the time or resources to help out in these ways, you can start in your own home. Be mindful of how you consume food and how much you throw away. Instead of tossing vegetables that have gone bad, try to make new recipes with them before they start to rot. Cooking is all about experimentation. Only buy food that you know you will eat. These seem like trivial things, but in the grand scheme of things, they make a difference. So can you.
Kristen Kauffman is a second-year student majoring in Nutrition & Dietetics. She can be reached at KK808697@wcupa.edu. 

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