All of this will be undertaken surrounded by friends and family. There will be goblets of red wine and squat rocks glasses filled with small batch bourbon. If we are really lucky, the Cowboys will blow a winnable game.
But for many people, Thanksgiving is just another day of going hungry. Estimates from Second Harvest Food Bank define 1 in 8 Louisianians as struggling with hunger. Almost 75% of people serviced by the Greater New Orleans and Acadiana Second Harvest Food Bank are food insecure. What that means is they don't always know where their next meal is coming from.
We talk nearly everyday about food. The subtext of all of that is that both Peter and I are incredibly blessed to know that our next meal is only a few hours away. Let's face it, as great as Thanksgiving is, you usually end up with plenty of leftovers. Those leftovers either get turned into indulgent snacks or thrown out later in the weekend. An uncle of mine always says after Thanksgiving, "Every year we try and cook less food, and somehow each year we end up with more leftovers."
If that sounds like something uttered in your household, I want you to encourage you to take one dish off of your Thanksgiving menu. Whatever you would have cooked, donate a like amount of food or cash to your local food bank. This is not a major sacrifice. You know those candied sweet potatoes are more hassle than they are worth or that the only reason you always make green peas is because you have always made green peas. It is a simple gesture. Plus, it likely will save you from doing an extra set of dishes and get you on the couch quicker to witness the Cowboys collapse.
This year I am not going to make Corn Goodness. A few ears of corn, some red peppers, a jalapeno, shallot, and garlic is about $10 bucks worth of groceries. While we won't miss it too much at our table, it may make a huge difference in someone else's day. And isn't that the true meaning of a holiday as special as Thanksgiving?