store, teaching kids to give

A couple of weeks ago, our church’s bulletin contained a blurb about the new, permanent food pantry going up in our lobby. Members have the opportunity fill the pantry weekly, and then, the contents of the pantry are donated to a local public school.


However, I’ve come to realize if I just go to the store and buy this and that for the pantry with little thought, it doesn’t really help my kids learn anything about serving  because while I’m racing around the grocery store looking for canned meats and peanut butter, my kids  are chopping on free cookies from the bakery. I don’t learn much (except where the canned meat is). They don’t learn much (except that peanut butter, bakery cookies are better than sugar cookies with sprinkles).

Solution: Give the kids the list of needed items and have them build a meal.

The result? Less yapping by me and more learning by them. Just what are my kiddos learning from putting together one meal? So glad you asked.

  • The word “perishable”.
  • That kids in their school district don’t have enough to eat.
  • The difference between name brand and store brand.
  • Rice is cheap, but not fun to eat. Mac and cheese is yummy, but more expensive.
  • Fresh fruit isn’t an option for many families.
  • Gross food is often inexpensive (No thank you, $.77, generic, lima beans).
  • There are people who can’t buy what they want in the grocery store.
  • Salad won’t stay fresh in a food pantry.
  • Sadly, neither will bread.
  • Breakfast bars don’t make a tasty breakfast.

It’s funny how much you can teach your kids about giving when you decide to get out of the way.

Image credit.



canned lima beans taste bad and other lessons from the grocery store

by Amy L. Sullivan time to read: 1 min