Food for the poor! Now there’s an idea. I’m sure other people must have thought of this already, but in terms of wider sustainable living as a concept where individuals can make a difference, I really believe it is possible. The more voices that suggest options like these, the more chance for our voices to actually achieve something towards making this planet sustainable for continued life and actually continue life for people who need food. It’s a no-brainer really.
What can we do as an individual to help our communities embrace sustainable ideas, and at the same time show kindness for our fellow man? One thought literally springs to mind. With our attempts at reducing carbon footprints, saving the forests, fighting for animal rights, and focusing on climate change, why aren’t we integrating sustainable lifestyle ideals, with providing things like um, food for those without it? This is the first in a series of articles considering how wider sustainable living may be achieved while providing a food source for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Look First At Our Own Land, Let’s Put It To Good Use
There are many people that are in a bad situation, weather it be due to poverty or drought, etc that keeps them in a starving, or near starving state. I think we have all become caught up in our property rights and entitlements that no one has considered that there is a way to help these people right from our own yard so to speak, merely by planting a few plants and trees that produce food and making it available for those who could use it. This idea literally oozes of all the sustainable living notions that we are trying to achieve.
Healthy Planet, Healthy People
Healthier planet means healthier people, happier people equals happier planet, leads to peace on Earth. It sounds simple, but can it truly be done? I’m sure there are a lot of logistics involved in achieving something like this, but what if? Again, it may be that we all just need to start small and at home and hope it spreads to more and more people. I am aware that precautions must be taken to prevent such people from becoming reliant on this and therefore not be able to help themselves break free from their situations.
Free Food – How Does That Sound?
Yes, I really did say free food. I’m sure that many of us would have a small piece of accessible property that we could use to grow a few fruit trees or a vegetable garden for the benefit of our community’s homeless or financially challenged families. What I am suggesting is that we have a lot of unused land in our midst so why not use it for something worthwhile?
Can We Go One Step Further?
You have probably seen the slogans for growing food not lawns around, well I believe we can go one step further and contribute as an entire community to helping people survive in their darkest hours.
I Don’t Mean Put The Farmers Out Of Business
I don’t want to take away from the farmers at all, that would put them on the bread line too, but I really feel that planting fruit trees in particular, would be a very helpful way to contribute in some way to these people in need and would most likely not put too much of an extra workload on the people who choose to offer their small piece of land to provide a food source for the needy. It would save on the cost of these foods for them as well, cutting down their own expenditures. Those communities that already have allotments in place have got it so right.
Charity Begins At Home, So Let’s Show Some At Home
Many of us have a garden, some of us even grow our own vegetables and fruits in it. What if you expanded what you already do to provide an area somewhere at the front of the garden, with easy access, to use as a secondary veggie patch and/or fruit tree grove?
If You Need Help, You Are Welcome To Help Yourself!
You could put a sign up welcoming people to take a small amount while leaving plenty for those others in need. You may find that people will just take the food even if not in need, so you may wish to think of a strategy, some way of making them think twice about it, perhaps find a way to help them feel guilty about taking what they don’t need.
Some Will Care, Some Won’t!
Unfortunately there are some people out there that really wouldn’t care, but thankfully I believe they are few. Most people would be honorable I feel. And grateful for the opportunity to eat food that they don’t have to pay for.
If they do happen to feel guilty, perhaps have them help you harvest the fruit and vegetables, kind of like a work for your food situation. I know there are many people out there who are too proud to accept handouts, so if you make it something they can earn, that may eliminate their objections to taking it.
Maintaining Privacy And Making It Clear What Is Expected
If you don’t actually want anyone coming in to your garden, you could create an alcove on the outside of your fence line but still within your property so that the patch or grove is better accessible to a person wishing to take some, yet still deters them from coming onto your property. The other option is to pick the food yourself and leave it out on the ground or on a shelf or cart of some kind like they do in the country when they offer the fruit they’ve grown and picked for sale. You may decide to charge a very small fee for a whole box of something although that does take away from the whole concept of providing a free source of food for the poor idea. You could always plant fruit trees along the outside of the fence line the entire way along, providing a different fruit tree for each section.
Rewarding Those Who Help, Don’t Be Concerned About Wastage
If you struggle to get the fruit out of a fruit tree in your garden, why not put a sign up and ask for someone to come and help you pick your fruit? You could offer an all you can take with you bargain as payment for their efforts, or split the load and allow them to take half away for them to use, give away or even sell as they see fit. I have a mango tree in my back garden that I would love to be able to get more mangoes from. I would so much appreciate someone to come and help me pick them at the right time and I would gladly give them half or even more of what they have helped me pick so that they have been rewarded with food and a source of money if they choose to sell what they don’t need.
Wastage Is A Normal Process In Nature But I’d Rather Put The Excess To Good Use
So many go to waste, or the bats and other creatures get to them, that I don’t often collect that many from my tree. I don’t mind providing a food source for the animals either, but they certainly don’t leave many for me at this rate. One of my neighbours asked if they could have some and I happily said yes. She wanted it to make a mango curry sauce which sounded yummy.
These are just a few ideas I was thinking about as to how we, as individuals could help provide a source of food for the poor. On a wider scale there would need to be much more planning involved, however this is a small way to contribute to society as one person or one family and hope that others follow suit. If we, as individuals of a wider community, take the initiative and reach out to people, much would be accomplished in improving our sustainability.
Don’t Stop There
My readers are looking for ways to reach out and help their fellow man and providing food for the poor fits that criteria that’s for sure. Please help out where you can and leave a comment below. What are you thoughts on this idea? Can you see any potential problems that may need to be addressed with this idea? I would welcome your thoughts on how you might do something like this yourself.
Thank you for reading.