As promised, I’m continuing the Works of Mercy series. But first, how did last month go? We dedicated November to burying the dead and praying for the Living and the Dead. Were you able to use some of the suggestions here? Did you come up with yours?
This December, the focus is on “Feeding the Hungry.” What are your most vivid childhood Christmas memories? I remember the food. Mounds of bright orange jollof rice, peppered chicken, elbow-licking egusi and pounded yam, fried rice, moi-moi, plantain, chin-chin, puff-puff… I remember drinking so much Fanta, my stomach would be distended from all the gas. Christmas was for food.
As I grow older, the tradition of endless feasting hasn’t waned. Even if I’m not cooking, I know that merely dropping in to visit someone on Christmas Day guarantees me a full belly. Not having food to eat on Christmas Day is almost an oxymoron. Not possible. And yet it’s a very real reality for some families. There are families that have no food to eat, not just at Christmas but all year round.
“When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers for they will invite you back, and in this way you will be paid for what you did. When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind; and you will be blessed because they are not able to pay back. God will repay you.” Luke 14:12-14
This Christmas, here are a few ways to live the corporal work of mercy: Feed The Hungry.
- Charity begins at home; see to the proper nutrition of your loved ones.
- Organize a food drive. Support and volunteer for food pantries, soup kitchens and agencies that feed the hungry. Contact restaurants to find out if they’d be willing to donate their leftovers.
- Educate yourself about world hunger, specifically about hunger in Nigeria.
- Avoid wasting food. Take only what you can eat.
- Share your meals with others.
- Buy a meal for a homeless person/beggar.
- Make a small food hamper for a less privileged family and give it to them on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. Fill a carton (Indomie carton, for instance) with practical food (not cookies and cereal) e.g. rice, groundnut oil, tinned food, tinned tomatoes, pasta, eggs, noodles, beans, garri… be creative, do what you can.
- Share your Christmas feast. Pack some cooked food into individual takeaway packs and share them among beggars on Christmas Day.
- Keep snacks in your car to handout to beggars in traffic. You could also keep noodle packs in bags.
- Take a friend out to lunch, your treat.
- Pay for a stranger’s lunch at your favorite eating spot, no strings.
- Prepare a meal for someone in your community (or among your friends and family) you think might need it; a mother with a newborn, someone who’s ill or lonely.
- Volunteer for job fairs to get people employed.
- Actively try to get an unemployed person gainfully employed. Review his/her CV, raise money for a small-scale business, ask your relatives, talk to your mentor…
If you’d like to take part in a group initiative, contact me and I’ll try my best to link you with other people in your area. If you’re organizing a group initiative as well, please let me know.
What do you think? Do you have any other ideas you think should make the list? Do you know of any food drives currently being planned? Let’s talk in the comments’ section below.