A hero of mine used to rant during his concerts about the outpouring of kindness during Thanksgiving food drives — those annual school events to teach children about helping others.
He genuinely praised the goodwill of students who dutifully gathered cans of food for those in need.
But then he’d throw in a twist.
“We only have one problem… what are those people going to eat next week?”
I think of Harry Chapin’s challenge often during this time of the year. Summer can be difficult for folks who don’t have much to eat — especially children. Many hungry kids don’t get a free or subsidized breakfast or lunch like they do when school is in session.
Fortunately, many programs like NoKidHungry and the expansion of summer meal programs at schools have helped enormously. But there’s still a lot left to do.
The generosity I’ve seen among my food marketing peers is a big reason I remain attached to this industry. Heck, many food banks wouldn’t survive if it wasn’t for constant donations from food manufacturers, distributors and operators.
Each of those company efforts start with one person who takes responsibility to get something done. And that can happen any time of the year. Right now would be good.
Call it Thanksgiving in June. Your boss will sign off on it.
By the way, Harry supported literally hundreds of charities during his lifetime. Here are just two that are going strong today: