Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas lists: Feeding the hungry

Br. Mickey McGrath's beautiful
cover for "Hungry, and you fed me."
I am a listy sort of person (yes, yes, INTJ) , right now there is one on the board in the kitchen listing the things to bake and a few nagging chores that I would like to attend to before the Feast of the Nativity dawns.

Math Man wondered the other morning what I might want for Christmas.  The Boy has been trying to figure something out, too.  I was ready for Math Man -- no jewels, a plumber's snake to unclog the drain in the upstairs shower would be a gift I would cherish.  A working bathroom particularly after the months of renovation would be a delight, a gift to remember each and every morning.  To The Boy, I confessed I have everything I want.

They tried again at dinner, at which point I came out with it: what I really want is clear surfaces (a virtual impossibility in this house full of academics), and a modicum of order in the house.  That, the Boy pointed out, is not the life I have chosen.  Nor, he assures me, would I want my life that tidy.

But their queries, and a post by two friends on the ten things that you don't think of that food banks might need most,  have me thinking about wish lists -- and people who are hungry.

Here is my wish list, of things to add to the list that I regularly pick up when I shop to put in the box my parish keeps at the back of the church:
  • Diapers and wipes (a real need for poor working mothers)
  • Protein:  tuna, peanut butter
  • Toiletries:  shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • Feminine supplies:  tampons and pads (yep, are you going to put that in the church bulletin?)

Philabundance's high priority list at the moment is:
  • Canned/ Shelf-stable tuna 
  • Macaroni and Cheese 
  • Canned Pasta, Beef Stew, and Chili 
  • Creamy Peanut Butter Jelly 
  • Canned Green Beans and Corn 
  • Canned Fruit 
  • Breakfast Cereal and Hot Cereal
Finally, many food banks can use money - to fill in where donations do not match needs, and which they can stretch further than I can stretch my dollars.

Any Church community, if it thinks it can comfortably go its own way without creative concern and effective cooperation in helping the poor to live with dignity and reaching out to everyone, will also risk breaking down, however much it may talk about social issues or criticize governments. It will easily drift into a spiritual worldliness camouflaged by religious practices, unproductive meetings and empty talk. — Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 207

Worship is not one thing and living another.  The synagogue is not a retreat, and that which is decisive is not the performance of rituals at distinguished occasions but how they affect the climate of the entire life. — Abraham Heschel


  1. Excellent suggestions. Thank you. Have a blessed Christmas Michelle.

  2. Glad to see tuna on the list, since that is what I have been buying. Thanks for this post. The issue is one I seem to have a passion for. Peace and Hope