A little bit goes a long way. We've all heard this saying in respect to many areas of life. Ironically, it often comes up in reference to food. The same principle applies when it comes to the giving of ourselves, our time and our resources in serving one another. Unfortunately, many of us wrongly assume that since we can't give in large quantities, our contributions do not matter or amount to much. If we would adjust our perspectives and recognize that if we all give a little, the impact could be beyond comprehension.
The average per diem in America is $58.50. Feeding America, due to their vast resources, can provide over 650 meals with the amount of only one day's per diem. Ten individuals willing to dedicate two hours of their time to volunteering at a community event makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of families who benefit from their service. Those spare canned fruits and vegetables that sit in the top of your cabinet may go unused for months while your neighbor wishes she had more than a carton of milk in her fridge for her children's breakfast.
We received a flier in the mail yesterday from our local Feeding America food bank. They're preparing for the dramatic increase in donations needed every holiday season. Our food bank serves eight counties within west-central Arkansas. Thousands of residents in these counties do not wonder where they're going to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas this year; they worry whether or not they can afford Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner this year. The flier states,"Any amount will make a lasting impact." $11 provides food for 88 Thanksgiving meals, $33 for 264 meals, etc. We may not realize it as we go about our daily lives, but 1 in 6 of our neighbors will go hungry this holiday season without our help.
This past week, I attended a community event where I witnessed numerous people giving selflessly to their neighbors in need. The event only lasted two hours; however, during those two hours, a whole truckload of nutritious food was distributed to numerous families. The volunteers not only offered food to their community but also offered a smile or a warm embrace. The look on the faces of the recipients showed immense appreciation and gratitude. What otherwise would have been just another evening on the couch, resulted in helping many people making ends meet.
These gestures may seem small to those who give, yet they make an enormous difference in the days, weeks, and months of many American families. Per Diems Against Poverty held our first food drive this past month. We are so thankful for all of the donations we received, as well as appreciative of those who assisted us in spreading the word and gathering donations. We were able to donate over 300 lbs. of food to the River Valley Regional Food Bank as a result of your generous giving. We plan to continue this work, along with other food drives, in the years ahead. As the holidays creep up on us, please remember that every can counts, each dollar delivers 11 meals, and no gift is too small.