Yesterday, I was on the clean-up crew for Not Far From the Tree‘s City Cider Day at Spadina House. There was freshly pressed apple cider galore as well as music, hands-on demonstrations and snacks. It was sunny and beautiful. As a reward for my labours (as if being in that happy environment wasn’t reward enough) I came home with 7 beautiful ears of corn – freshly picked, beautifully sweet.
As I jammed the ears into the already brimming vegetable drawer of the fridge, I gazed at the amazing bounty of vegetables that our friend shared with us from her garden and thought about all the wonderful dishes we would be eating over the coming days, weeks and months.
Last night, we had the most fabulous mashed butternut squash with a brilliant pork and red peppers stew. Later today, I’ll be making muffins made with grape jam from last year – we STILL have lots of jams and jellies from last year’s jamming sessions as well as jars and jars of this year’s peaches, peach jam and grape jam. And tonight I think we will have oven-roasted salsify, corn and beets. And tomorrow we’ll have….
Yes, we do live well, don’t we?
As I basked, I couldn’t help thinking about the fact that we are the fortunate ones. We can choose to eat alone. Or we can choose to share. Sometimes, we choose to have three meals a day as well as a few snacks. Maybe too many snacks. And other times, we choose to have just two meals a day rather than three.
And then I began to think about the thousands of people who don’t have that choice. They would feel fortunate to be in the position to share – just to have even one meal a day!
Let’s choose to share. Let’s each of us make much more of an effort to share our bounty with everyone.
I came across the following today when wandering around on the internet:
12.4 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Famine has been declared in five regions of South Central Somalia and refugees continue to flee into Kenya and Ethiopia. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has made a global appeal for everyone to do what they can to bridge the US$1.1 billion still required by aid agencies to reduce the loss of life.
According to the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics, there are 925 million hungry people in the world […] They are distributed like this:
578 million in Asia and the Pacific
239 million in Sub-Saharan Africa
53 million in Latin America and the Caribbean
37 million in the Near East and North Africa
– UN World Food Programme: Who are the Hungry?
There is enough food in the world today for everyone to have the nourishment necessary for a healthy and productive life. […]
Today, one in seven people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life, making hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
– UN World Food Programme: Hunger FAQs
Please remember that there are increasingly more impoverished and chronically hungry people everywhere in the world. Obviously, for most of us, it’s counter-productive for us to send our extra vegetables. But we can spare some of our cash. There are many reputable organizations working to feed the hungry. Here are just a few possibilities. Please look in your community for others:
- Daily Bread Foodbank
- Second Harvest
- Grocery Foundation: Toonies for Tummies
- Food Banks Canada
- Action Against Hunger
- Freedom from Hunger
- The Global FoodBanking Network
- The Hunger Project
- Relief Web: Global Food Crisis
- UN World Food Programme:
» Bloggers Against Hunger fighting hunger worldwide
» WeFeedBack sharing food, changing lives
- World Vision Give a Gift
Please remember when giving your donations to ensure that the relief agency you have chosen already has operations set up in the area. Also, it’s a good idea to ask their advice about whether it is best to specify “greatest need” on your donation. They know best where the moneys really need to go.
And don’t forget about these sites online.
“Not Far From the Tree” is a Toronto organization that includes a residential fruit-picking program to pick fruit (with permission, of course) that would otherwise go to waste.
When a homeowner can’t keep up with the abundant harvest produced by their tree, they let us know and we mobilize our volunteers to pick the bounty. The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens in the neighbourhood so that we’re putting this existing source of fresh fruit to good use. It’s a win-win-win situation!
Do you have a fruit tree or two on your property that you would like to share? For more information on how you can donate your time and/or share your fruit, please go to
(If you have something to add or say about stopping world hunger, please remember to post your thoughts and ideas on your blog, facebook, at work, etc. etc.)