Ten Pound Hershey Bars – Part II

A widespread practice in the charity food system is the preemptive filtering out of products that could potentially be offered to people in need, either for reasons of nutrition, or because we think that the people being served won’t want/need them. When instead we get out of the way and let food, even obscure or unhealthy food, find its way to the right hands, it often solves problems we never even imagined.

This story comes to us from the late John Arnold, who at the time was the Executive Director of Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. Click here for Part I.

The other place I delighted in sending the ten pound Hershey bars was off to regular pantries with a plea that they make them available to women with children.  My rationale was that those women had probably had to bring their children shopping with them because they could not afford a babysitter generally.  It is likely that when they got up to the checkout lanes where all the candy is displayed right at a child’s eye level, that those mothers were asked by their children, “Mama, could we have some candy?” and she probably has had to say no pretty much every time.

But then she’d gone to the church and she’d come home with the biggest candy anybody has ever seen, and undoubtedly children from all up and down the street would hear about it and they would come over and they would all stand and marvel at this candy, and they would all get to have as big a piece as they wanted, and probably a bigger one than they could actually eat, and some of them might even get sick from it, but for a time, in that household, there would be laughter and there would be fun, and there would be a sense of being very special.