33. And finally, “If you need food, go to a food pantry. Periodt.”
“Too many people see questions about whether or not they ‘should’ go to a food pantry, and they internalize an impression of ‘Food pantries are for people who are not like me who need food more than I do.’ Well, that internalization can’t be more incorrect. Community members are giving to this pantry or this soup kitchen in the hopes that YOUR life improves because of it.
“Food banks do not care how much money you make, what you drive, where you live, whether you’re single, in a marriage, in a dorm, living with a roommate, or if you have 15 children. They don’t care if you have nice pots and pans or if you are using tinfoil over a burner to heat up your food. They do not judge and they do not care.
“You do not have to be in misery to qualify for a food bank or for your local soup kitchen. If getting food will help you pay your rent or your utility bill, go get food. If getting food means you can buy a birthday present for your kid or your dad that you would otherwise be unable to buy, go get food. If getting food means you eat three times a day instead of two, go get food. If getting food means you can actually put some money away in an emergency fund this month instead of skating by yet again without preparing for the future, go get food.
“And if you go get food and you still feel that it’s something you don’t deserve or that you’re taking from someone else, then give back. Find a place to volunteer your time to ensure that someone or something else in your community gets a brighter future, even if it’s just one day every few months. Use the resources that your community offers you to help provide you with some breathing room, and use that momentum for a better tomorrow.”