Today, on the seventh annual Giving Tuesday, we are surrounded by opportunities to help the hungry in Nashville. The best part is, you don’t have to have deep pockets. Even the smallest donation, a single volunteer hour or a collected can of pennies is something. Below, consider some specific ways you can help the hungry here in town, simply by sharing what you have.
1. Participate in the Mrs. Cheap Penny Drive.
Want a perfect way to get the kids involved? Collect your pennies. You can pick up a can at Second Harvest or any branch of Pinnacle Financial Partners or Wilson Bank & Trust. Then, save change over the next few months. From now all the way through to January 31, the Mrs. Cheap Penny Drive will be raising funds for Second Harvest Tennessee through this initiative. When your can’s full, you can turn in your donations at box at the checkout of your local Kroger. You can also take it to any of the places where you pick up the cans. Spread the word with #MsCheapPennyDrive on social media. All proceeds go to feed hungry people here in Middle Tennessee.
2. Support While You Shop.
When you’re out buying groceries or dining at restaurants this season, choose retailers who donate part of their profits to help the hungry. This roundup from Second Harvest TN gives plenty of ideas! Buy a bag to feed the hungry while you’re getting groceries at Sprouts, send money by ordering roasted cauliflower at Etch or list a local food pantry as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile or your Kroger card.
3. Stop Food Waste.
Did you know the amount of food waste produced globally each year is more than enough to feed the nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world? (Source: Greatist.com, in an article detailing practical ways to reduce your food waste) Pay attention to what’s in your fridge, and use up what you buy. Likewise, if you have nonperishable food in your pantry you’re not going to use, donate it.
4. Make Dinner or Breakfast for Open Table Nashville.
Local nonprofit Open Table Nashville is an interfaith community trying to disrupt cycles of poverty and educate on homelessness. It offers a couple ways to volunteer, including by providing dinner for about 30 people or a drop-off breakfast for about 20 people.
Note: I’m currently brainstorming more ways to help the hungry in Nashville and have been thinking about running a virtual food drive or selling loaves of bread locally in December, all proceeds going to a local food pantry. If this is something you’d be interested in (or if you have other ideas), please contact me!