The next time you are in the kitchen making a meal and you reach for the oregano or the basil or even the salt and pepper, remember that not everyone has the luxury of spices for their food.

When you decide between balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar or vegetable oil versus sesame or olive oil, remember that not everyone is so fortunate.

When you reach for a coffee filter or fresh fruit or fresh eggs or some fresh local meat, remember that not all our neighbors have those choices.

With recent cuts to federal food stamp programs some of our friends and neighbors are facing food budget cuts of $15 per person per month. That amounts to a lot for a family.

There are food collection boxes for the local food shelf at a variety of locations in The Valley, but maybe we could all make an effort as we head into the holidays to think outside the box and think beyond the normal boxes of pasta, tuna and tomato sauce we put in those boxes.

Could you pick up an extra dozen eggs or an extra package of local meat one week and then next week a jar of some basic spice and/or a package of salt and pepper?

As you plan your Thanksgiving dinner and contemplate appetizers and desserts, can you pick up some butter and cheese for your neighbors?

Sometimes we all walk zombie-like through the grocery store, intent on our list and our menus and our needs. Can we make the next few months a time to walk through the store with an eye to what we might be able to pick up for our neighbors who might be hungry – and can we do so with the idea that they deserve fresh, tasty food so that they too can cook great meals for themselves and their families?

Can we shop mindful of the fact that while we may not need mustard or maple syrup or vinegar or oil, others do?

For information on how to donate fresh or frozen food to the food shelf, contact Melodie Showacre at 496-6802.