As many of my friends know, I’ve just begun volunteering for the Middleton Outreach Ministry. It’s a great organization working to prevent homelessness and ending hunger. All the employees I’ve met are great people who are committed to making a difference in our community. I’m helping with what I do best writing, blogging and social media… pretty much anything Ellen the Communication Director needs an assist with.
The other day I was writing an article about the community garden. It was a heartwarming story about a woman who started out gardening to supplement her groceries and ended with her learning a new skill. She talked about how it was a good time to spend time with her children while planting, maintaining and harvesting. More she was able to provide fresh vegetables and other healthy food when her finances were less than robust.
So, I had an ah-ha moment. I love to garden. I’m notorious for over planting and producing way more than my husband and I can consume even if I freeze, can and dry. I should donate my excess to MOM’s food pantry. It would cost me nothing but time and it would do something nice for people who may be experiencing a tough time right now.
Due to a very rainy June, my veggies are starting out slow but the herbs are beyond bumper crop. A quick email to MOM to find out if my donation would be welcome, a trip to the grocery for sandwich baggies and I was off and going.
It took about four hours to pick and bag all the oregano in my garden. Then another hour to label everything. I dropped off a grocery paper bag brimming with single servings of fresh oregano. At the local grocery store you pay $3 to $5 for a small packet of fresh oregano. I donated about 100 baggies.
Yes, we can afford to make a cash donation and it would have been much less effort. This meant more to me. As I picked and cut up the oregano for each of the packets I daydreamed about the marinara sauce, pizza, stews and soups that would benefit from fresh, pesticide-free, fertilizer-free, Wisconsin-grown oregano.
So for my friends who live in the greater Madison area, if you have extras from your garden… think about MOM.