There are only nine days left before we gather around a large table and ritualistically consume turkey and potatoes, which means that there are only ten days left before we gather around a mall and ritualistically consume slippers and cheese logs. Yes, Black Friday, the traditional start of the American Christmas shopping season, is just around the corner, and before you start throwing your dollar bills around, I'd like you to listen to my plea:
There are millions of hungry and poor people in the United States and you should help them out by donating a small percentage of your holiday shopping budget to your local food banks, because they are struggling.
"We're seeing more and more people coming to the front door and less and less food coming through the back door," said Aine Duggan of the Food Bank for New York City. "We're being squeezed from both sides and we haven't seen the worst of it."
That's it, folks. Corporations are donating less to the food banks at the most vital time, when thousands of people are losing their jobs and those of us who never thought they'd go hungry can no longer afford to feed themselves and their families. So please, I realize that this is very difficult to ask you to open your wallets at a time when everyone is suffering, but if you can afford Internet access to read this silly baseball blog, then you can afford to send a few bucks to your city's local food bank.
Here's a nearly complete list of food banks in MLB cities. Pick your favorite.
- Anaheim - Second Harvest of Orange County
- Arlington - North Texas Food Bank
- Atlanta - Atlanta Community Food Bank
- Baltimore - Maryland Food Bank
- Boston - Greater Boston Food Bank
- Chicago - Greater Chicago Food Bank
- Cincinnati - Freestore Foodbank
- Cleveland - Cleveland Foodbank
- Denver - Food Bank of the Rockies
- Detroit - Gleaners Community Food Bank
- Houston - Houston Food Bank
- Kansas City - Harvesters
- Los Angeles - Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
- Miami - Daily Bread
- Milwaukee - Hunger Task Force
- Minneapolis - Second Harvest Heartland
- New York - Food Bank for New York City
- Oakland - Alameda County Community Food Bank
- Philadelphia - PhilAbundance
- Phoenix - St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance
- Pittsburgh - Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
- San Diego - San Diego Food Bank
- San Francisco - San Francisco Food Bank
- Seattle - Northwest Harvest
- St. Louis - St. Louis Area Food Bank
- Tampa - America's Second Harvest of Tampa Bay
- Toronto - Daily Bread
- Washington - Capital Area Food Bank
And if your town isn't represented on that list, head on over to Feeding America, the website formerly known as Second Harvest. I'll be donating to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey because Bruce Springsteen told me to. Join me, and give a couple of sheckels. Your money will go further than you can possibly imagine to feed some needy folks.
(photo credit: Mr. Kris at Flickr)