Today, as I think about all of the things I'm thankful for including my amazing family, friends, fiance and fur-balls, I can't help but also think about food.
From time to time, I like to provide you guys with a TOP-Ten list of my favorite restaurants in a certain category. I began to compose a post on my TOP-Ten restaurants I'm thankful for in our great city, but then it occurred to me. I should probably just be thankful that I have food to eat at all. My community is a huge inspiration to me, and there are times that I lose focus of what's important. This year, as we gather with our families and friends to stuff our faces, we should give thanks for what we have and consider giving back to those who might not have it.
So today, instead of creating a list of restaurants I'm thankful for, I've put together a list of the Top-Ten local agencies or organizations where YOU can donate food or funds in an effort to help individuals and families in need at this crucial time of year:
Light of Life Rescue Mission. One meal can provide food for their body and soul. When you give to Light of Life, you’re feeding and caring for people in desperate need
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Your donations directly support those in need in South Western Pennsylvania. Non-perishable food items are accepted, but $0.94 of every dollar donated goes toward food and services for our local community. To find a member agency near you, click here.
Jubilee Soup Kitchen. With a primary focus of feeding the hungry, Jubilee helps those whose lives have been challenged by poverty, illness, joblessness, or homelessness by offering food, a sense of community, and an open heart.
North Hills Community Outreach. Their food pantries and additional services serve struggling families and individuals in the North Hills of Pittsburgh and beyond.
Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project. A unique twist on donating food, this organization collects new and gently used tote bags for distribution to the region’s food pantries. You can donate a bag as an individual or organize your own Tote Drive.
East End Food Cooperative. Give food, get food. Their donation program helps to create, promote and sustain a healthy, strong and vibrant local community - but they've also got a vibrant market to peruse.
Just Harvest. Everyone has a fundamental right to food. Hunger is unacceptable. Just Harvest works to educate, empower and mobilize people to eliminate hunger in our community.
Rainbow Kitchen. Through their nutritious Kids Dinner program, Hot Breakfast program and food pantry, Homestead-based Rainbow Kitchen provides a vital safety net for hungry children, struggling families, low-income elderly, ill, and disabled individuals, the homeless, and growing numbers of people who are unemployed or among the working poor.
Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry. With your donations, Squirrel Hill Food Pantry works to provide a safety net to the hungry and food insecure in the 15217 zip code area.
1) Your Church. Whether you know it or not, your local church probably participates in a distribution service during the holidays, or even year-round. If you feel a strong connection to your church, reach out. Offer to donate OR offer to host a drive. Your help - at any level - is always appreciated.
So tomorrow as you gather around your table, I encourage you to remember what's important. Instead of giving thanks for smart phones and Black Friday sales, remind your family and friends of how much they mean to you and be thankful for the food on your table. Then, if you're able, consider giving back to those who may not be so lucky.
Have a wonderful, safe, and DELICIOUS Thanksgiving!