I learned something important about the needs of a food drive in a discussion last night. A doctor who works at a clinic for recipients of donated food gave us an important insight.
"Tell people to bring canned fruit and green vegetables," she said. "My patients have trouble getting enough fruit and vegetables. Bring canned green beans, canned fruit or even raisins. Everyone brings cans of pasta -- they get too much pasta."
This made me realize: in my own shopping, I buy canned tomatoes, corn, tuna, beans, and soup. But always fresh greens and fresh fruit. Giving my preferred canned goods to a food drive is insensitive to the needs of the needy. I can buy fresh produce because I'm lucky to have enough time, enough money, and a kitchen where I can keep things fresh. I'm a little embarrassed because for the pre-Thanksgiving food drives, I specifically bought what I thought was good-quality canned soup. But of course it's a starchy product, and now I know better.