Let’s battle food insecurity together this year.

Let’s get something straight. I’ve written several blogs about “Bachelor Cooking,” where I try to cook or boil or microwave some edible foodstuff. And we all have a good laugh (you know, every time my recipe says to use Kosher salt, but I never use it). Then it’s on to the next blog.

Well, for all the times that I do joke about Bachelor Cooking, there were times long ago when I wasn’t able to make my food budget stretch enough. And there were some scary times, when it came to deciding that I’ll go hungry so that my kid can eat. Yeah, I’ve been through those fallow days.

And if we don’t know someone who’s also struggled with food insecurity, we may have suffered through it ourselves. Heck, COVID-19 has created a new phalanx of those who worry that there might not be enough to stretch to the end of the week. So they go to the food pantry. And sometimes the food pantry struggles as well.

If you are able to help … here’s what I’d like you to do.

This Thursday, I’m boxing up various foodstuffs and personal care items, and bringing them to a donation spot in downtown Albany. It’s all part of the ongoing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Food Drive, which benefits food pantries throughout our area.

If you can donate non-perishable items and personal products, donations are accepted on February 11 at the following drive-through times and locations:

  • 10a-12n at the Albany County Department of Health and Mental Health Complex, 260 South Pearl St., Albany, NY
  • 3p-5p, at the Stewart’s on 875 New Scotland Avenue, Albany.

If you have these items, they would be greatly appreciated. This is not a finite list, but are definitely some suggestions.

Canned fruit and vegetables
Peanut Butter
Pasta and Rice
Canned Tuna and Chicken
Soap & Body Wash

Feminine Hygiene Products
Shampoo & Conditioner
Diapers and wipes

Financial contributions are also welcome. Trust me, in most cases you can donate $10 and a food bank can buy $25 worth of food with it. Which is $25 worth of food for someone who doesn’t even have $25 to their name. Here’s a link to the donation page of the Regional Food bank of Northeastern New York.

If you’ve read my blog with any degree of regularity, you know that feeding those in need is one of my personal projects. It’s why I do those Thanksgiving turkey deliveries for Equinox every year. It’s also why, after I photograph the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, I bring a recently-purchased basket of goods to the donation area when the train arrives, and I also send a payment to the national organization Feeding America. I’ve been on the other end of hunger, and although I can take care of myself now, I want to do what I can to help others who are in need.

And if I can do it, I hope you can join me as well.

Again, I’ve given you plenty of time to go to the grocery store (or get your Instacart person to buy the stuff for you), and drop it all off at either of the two locations this Thursday – or if you don’t live in Albany, contact your local food bank or pantry and ask what can you provide for their needs.

Trust me. No parent should ever have to choose to go without so that there’s enough food for their kids.

Let’s do this together, shall we?