Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Local Love and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
Summer days are drifting away, and as much as we’re soaking in every last drop of it, all signs are pointing to Fall. The cooler morning temps, leaves changing colour, mums adorning front porches and the Pumpkin Spice flavour invasion of our favourite coffee shops and bakery windows. But what Fall reminds me of more than anything is family celebrations and holiday gatherings coupled with hearty, flavourful foods. Knowing how delicious meals bring loved ones together, gathered to celebrate the special moments of the season, it’s tough to think that many families struggle to find the means to buy groceries because of various unexpected life circumstances or adversity, and may not get to enjoy the meals we sometimes take for granted this time of year. It doesn’t help that the cost of food keeps rising, so we wanted to do something within our capacity to support initiatives that help alleviate the stress of putting food on the table for families in our community, and aligning it with one of our favourite partners LocalLove‘s “Show Your LocalLove” on September 17th call to action seemed like a terrific time to do so.
Like most families, this is the time of year where our pace of life speeds up and our already full plates getting piled even higher. The start of extracurriculars, family events, school projects, and work deadlines for two working parents means there is very little space for “extra” in our life, so fitting in time to give back to our community, while important, could be tough, but we’ve found ways to make it so it doesn’t have to be.
Food donations were a tradition in my family growing up. Not a holiday or season went by without my Mom prepping bags of food to contribute to our local food banks and pantries in York Region. It’s an act of good will I want to pass on to our kids. That while we have so much to be thankful for this time of year, it’s also time to think of those who need a hand up in our community, for none of us are immune to needing assistance at some point in our lives. A monetary donation would have been simple enough, and we’ve happily done that before also, but there’s something really important to us about getting the kids involved in acts of service now that they`ve reached impressionable ages.
So, in between doing the rink hustle and running errands on the weekend, I brought the kids with me to the store where I’d be picking up our youngest son’s birthday party supplies and tacked on rounding up non-perishable food items to donate to this pit stop. The kids had fun thinking of their favourite foods to eat this time of year and picking canned and packaged groceries they want other families to enjoy just like they do. It added 5-10 minutes of time (tops!) to a store visit we were making already.
On September 17th, we weren`t able to make it to our local food pantry during operating hours for drop-off because the kids were in school, so between school pick-up and dinner time, we headed over to our local Fire Station to bring our food haul. The kids found it super fun to visit a fire hall (and ring the giant bell!), and it took no more than 10 minutes of our time to make our donation. It was not only a great way to connect as a family participating in a meaningful activity together in an age-appropriate way for the kids but had lingering feel-good effects from giving back so other families can enjoy some of the delicious foods of the season that make gatherings so special this time of year.
Instilling a do-good spirit in our gang the whole year through is important to us, and we know so many of you feel the same way too. Acts of service don’t need to be complicated or time-consuming, and why we love getting ideas and inspo from the Good News Letter. Subscribe to get your weekly nuggets of feel-good stories, and simple, meaningful ways to get out in your own communities to show your local love, even with the full lives we lead with our people!
Also, go show some love for Local Love on Social:
How do you and your family like to give back this time of year? We’d love to know!
Love & light,